A dento-maxillofacial radiologist, also known as an oral and maxillofacial radiologist, is a dental board registered specialist who has successfully completed an accredited 3 year post graduate program. These dental specialists are essentially radiologists of the teeth, jaws and face, specialising in diagnosing and treating diseases and injuries using imaging techniques and studies.
Forensic odontology (dentistry) is the application of dentistry to the law.
Forensic odontologists are responsible for:
- Identification of individuals
- Identification in mass disasters
- Assessment of bite mark injuries
- Assessment of cases of abuse
- Assessment of facial trauma
- Age estimation
The forensic odontologist does the above in some of the following ways:
- Doing examinations on deceased people
- This can be on individual or many hundreds
- Comparing ante mortem and post mortem records
- Comparing a person’s pattern of teeth with a bitemark on some one else
- Examining a person or viewing x-rays to determine age
- Photographing and recording injuries to the face
- Presenting evidence in court
Oral Surgery is a specialist qualification that surgically treats many diseases, injuries and defects of the oral and dento-alveolar tissue.
Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons have a broader scope of practice as they have dual qualifications in medicine and dentistry and provide specialist surgical treatment that involves diagnosis and surgical treatment of diseases and injuries of the jaws and associated structures in the head and neck and face.
Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons and Oral Surgeons both provide:
- Surgical removal of teeth
- Surgical removal of impacted teeth including third molars or wisdom teeth.
- Surgical placement of dental implants to replace missing teeth.
- Replacement of bone by bone grafting procedures to replace the foundation required for dental implants, including ‘sinus lift’ or sinus floor elevation’ procedures.
- Managing dental and other oral infections.
- Pre-prosthetic surgery to allow your dentist or prosthodontist to provide stable and retentive dentures by optimising the oral structures.
- Oral cancer screening and investigate oral ulcers, lesions, lumps and bumps.
- Optimisation of anaesthetic management and pain relief.
- Oral and tooth trauma to the dento-alveolar tissue
Due to their additional qualifications and broader scope of practice Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons treat:
- Facial trauma including treatment of facial injuries involving the soft and hard tissues of the forehead, eye sockets, nose and jaws.
- Life threatening infections of the jaws from dental disease
- Congenital and developmental deformity of the jaws and face
- Cysts and tumours of the jaws, face and oral maxillofacial region
- Head and neck cancers
- Reconstruct facial deformities from trauma or tumour surgery
- Perform cosmetic facial surgery
- Obstructive sleep apnoea with surgery.
- Collaboration with your orthodontist to enable teeth and jaws to be moved and straightened by performing various surgical procedures.
- Diseases of the temporomandibular joint with surgery.
Oral Medicine is the specialist branch of dentistry concerned with the diagnosis, prevention and predominantly non-surgical management of conditions affecting the mouth, face and surrounding structures.
Oral Medicine Specialists provide services and care for the following conditions:
- Tumours, oral cancer and pre-cancerous lesions
- Oral infections including thrush and cold sores
- Oral autoimmune and immune mediated diseases
- White, red and pigmented lesions
- Ulcers and blisters
- Lumps and bumps
- Salivary gland diseases including dry mouth
- Abnormal sensations of the mouth, including burning mouth and strange tastes
- Oral allergies
- Bad breath
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) clicking, locking and pain
- Arthritis of the TMJ
- Jaw muscle pain
- Neuralgia (nerve pain)
- Persistent oral and teeth pain
- Teeth grinding and clenching
On a day to day basis, Oral Medicine Specialists provide the following treatments:
- Topical, oral and injectable treatments for oral diseases
- Oral biopsies
- Fabrication of night-guards / splints
- Botulinum toxin injections (Botox) for facial pain and teeth grinding
- Trigger point therapy and therapeutic injections
- Oral appliance therapy for obstructive sleep apnoea and snoring (Snoreguards)
Orthodontics is the specialist branch of dentistry concerned with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of dental and facial irregularities to help correctly align teeth, bites and jaws, including straightening teeth.
Orthodontists provide services and care for the following issues:
- Crooked teeth
- Bad bites
- Impacted teeth
- Upper teeth that stick out
- Lower teeth that stick out
- Deep bites
- Open bites
- Facial profiles
- Spaces between teeth
- Create spaces for implants
- Reduce need for implants
- Missing teeth problems
- Upright posterior teeth
- Improve ease of cleaning teeth
- Speech, breathing or chewing difficulties
- Diagnosis and management of obstructive sleep apnoea
- Persistent thumb and finger sucking habits in children.
- Psychological benefits such as improved self-confidence
On a day to day basis, Orthodontists provide the following treatments:
- Fixed appliances (braces) for both front and back of teeth
- Clear sequential plastic aligners (including Invisalign)
- Removable appliances (plates)
- Oral appliance therapy for obstructive sleep apnoea
- Coordinate multiple specialist solutions to complex dental problems
Paediatric Dentistry is the branch of dentistry that is concerned with preventive and therapeutic oral health care for children from birth through to adolescence, and especially for those with special needs. It includes management of orofacial problems related to medical, behavioural, physical and developmental disabilities.
What particular expertise do Paediatric Dentists have?
Paediatric Dentists are trained to know all about:
- Physical and psychological growth and development of children from before birth to adulthood.
- The causes and treatment of the full range of oral diseases both inherited and acquired, from decay to gum disease, tooth wear to traumatic dental injuries, missing to poorly formed teeth.
- The individual nature of each child and how their temperament, family and school environments and background impact on oral health.
- Childhood illness and disability and how these can impact of oral health and dental treatment.
- Existing research, best practice guidelines and evidence based treatment related to children’s oral health.
Types of care routinely provided by Paediatric Dentists
- Children with complex treatment needs or extensive decay
- Paediatric Dentists are able to provide comprehensive care under nitrous oxide sedation in the dental chair or under general anaesthesia as a short day-stay procedure. Enabling your child to cope well with their treatment is our highest priority, and will ensure they are happy to visit the dentist in years to come.
- Children with medical and genetic conditions
- Many children with serious medical or genetic conditions require dental care in conjunction with other medical doctors and allied health professionals. Dental health has significant impacts on general health, and Paediatric Dentists understand the importance of an oral health care plan that is tailored to your child’s needs.
- Management of dental injuries to both primary and permanent teeth
- Management of children with dental conditions such as missing teeth, extra teeth, enamel defects and abnormal eruption of teeth
- Children with anxiety or behavioural issues
- Very young children
- Paediatric Dentists are happy to see children from birth for a variety of neonatal oral conditions, checking oral and facial growth and development, eruption of teeth, early guidance on when and how to brush for young children and nutritional advice for toddlers and young children to minimise decay risk in the future.
Periodontics is concerned with the tissues which support the teeth and/or dental implants i.e. the gums, the bone and the ligaments. Periodontists are experts in managing the diseases and conditions which affect these supporting tissues. Gum diseases may also affect other systemic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, pneumonia and pregnancy. Periodontists are experts in the placement of dental implants, particularly when aesthetics is of high concern.
Periodontists treat the following problems:
- Gum disease (periodontitis), especially where gum “pockets” are more than 5mm deep
- Bleeding, red and/or inflamed gums
- Loose teeth and dental implants
- Bad breath
- Receding gums
- Excessive gums
- Growths and tumours of the gums
- Gum diseases associated with systemic disease
- Gum health support as part of complex dental treatment (such as orthodontics)
On a day to day basis, Periodontists provide the following services:
- Cleaning and debridement of the teeth, especially in gum pockets greater than 5mm
- Detailed oral hygiene instruction, often with specialised home care products
- Regular maintenance and cleaning to ensure ongoing gum health
- Collaboration with your other health practitioners to ensure overall good health is maintained.
- Periodontal surgery to access difficult or non-healing periodontal pockets
- Regeneration of the gum, bone and ligaments surrounding teeth and dental implants with specialised techniques and products
- Gum “lifts” or grafting procedures to enhance your smile aesthetics
- Surgical placement of dental implants to replace missing teeth
- Managing infections and problems affecting dental implants
Prosthodontics is the specialty of dentistry devoted to the rehabilitation and maintenance of oral health, function and aesthetics, through the restoration of teeth and the replacement of teeth and associated tissues.
They regularly lead teams of allied dental specialists and other health professionals to develop the best possible solution for your dental needs and are considered the “architect” of the dental treatment plan.
The Prosthodontist’s expertise lies in
- Planning the most appropriate overall treatment for dental problems
- Replacing missing teeth
- Cosmetic rehabilitations
- Restoring heavily broken down teeth
- Implant dentistry from planning, surgery and restoration
- Crowns and bridges on teeth
- Crowns and bridges on implants
- Full or partial dentures
- Implant dentures
- Complex dental rehabilitations
- Occlusion or jaw bite position
Prosthodontists will routinely treat patients who:
- Have lost some or all of their teeth
- Are concerned with how their teeth look
- Cannot eat or chew their food
- Are having problems with existing dentures
- Are experiencing problems that are challenging to fix
- Have complex treatment needs
- Have complex medical conditions
- Have problems with their jaw joint (TMJ)
- Need treatment involving other specialists