Oral and maxillofacial
Welcome to Barts Health oral and maxillofacial service. We are a leading specialist and research centre offering a full range of services for patients with injuries, diseases or abnormalities affecting the face, jaws, mouth, head and neck.
Our patients come from across London, Essex and the rest of the country.
We provide oral and maxillofacial services from:
- St Bartholomew’s Hospital
- The Royal London Hospital
- Whipps Cross University Hospital
Why choose us
We perform life-changing surgery on more than 10,000 patients every year. Our staff are among the most experienced in the country for treating trauma and diseases to the mouth, jaws and face.
The Barts Health Centre for Oral and Maxillofacial surgery is at the forefront of research and continually push the boundaries to develop new and successful treatments. Many of our team of specialists also work as scientists to research and investigate innovative treatments and technologies.
We also work closely with our academic colleagues at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. Plus we have several close collaborative links with a number of local, regional and national clinical and academic departments involving research, clinical treatment and undergraduate teaching.
Research conducted by our team is frequently published in peer reviewed publications. Recent studies have related to trauma, cancer and tracheostomy outcomes.
Links with Saving Faces
Saving Faces is a charity involved in researching the best treatments in oral and maxillofacial surgery. Based at St Bartholomew’s Hospital the charity works closely with the oral and maxillofacial service. The charity runs several major national research projects with the British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.
We conduct specialist surgery to ensure that our patients can speak, chew and hear properly with cosmetic factors in consideration.
We are part of the City, East London and West Essex (CELWEX) managed clinical network for oral and maxillofacial surgery. This covers three acute NHS trusts - Barts Health, Homerton University Hospital in Hackney, and Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow.
Our oral and maxillofacial specialists work in multi-disciplinary teams to provide a joined-up approach for treating patients with disorders of the mouth, gums, ears, nose, throat, and eyes. We work side-by-side with experts at the dental service at the Trust, and orthodontists at Whipps Cross, as well as ear nose and throat (ENT) specialists, neurosurgeons and ophthalmic surgeons. Our team also work closely with cancer specialists to care for people requiring surgery for oral, head and neck cancer.
Surgery for facial, head and neck (maxillofacial) injuries
The Royal London Hospital is home to London’s Air Ambulance and the hub of London’s trauma network. As a result, our oral and maxillofacial surgeons treat approximately 2000 complex trauma cases every year, which is more than any other centre in the UK. Our surgeons play a key role in the care of patients with multiple injuries to the neck, face, mouth and head regions. There is 24-hour cover provided by the hospital's Emergency Department.
Causes of injury
Causes of oral and maxillofacial injury are varied; they can happen as a result of car accidents, violence, sports accidents or unforeseen accidents around the home or workplace. Our surgeons are ideally trained to manage such injuries given their understanding of the complex skeletal and soft tissue structure of the face and also their specialist knowledge of the mouth, jaw and teeth.
High tech assessments
In most cases, oral and maxillofacial injuries will need to be treated soon after the injury. Surgeons may use CT scans (computerised tomography) to identify head and face bone injuries. Depending on the extent and nature of the injury, our maxillofacial surgeons work closely with neurosciences with the aim of making patients well again as quickly as possible and avoiding the need for further surgery.
If a patient’s teeth have been damaged, moved or lost as a result of their injury, they will be referred to restorative and orthodontist specialists in the dental service or the orthodontists at Whipps Cross who are able to provide subsequent dental care to ensure that teeth are re-aligned and, if necessary, replaced.
Surgery for facial deformities
At The Royal London and Whipps Cross, we see many patients who are referred to us with facial deformities (caused by birth defects or diseases such as oral cancer). Some of our patients may have experienced months or even years of anxiety associated with their facial appearance. We take great pride in offering them the highest standard of oral and maxillofacial surgery to make them look and feel happy with themselves.
Orthognathic surgery for facial and dental deformities
Patients with facial and dental deformities benefit from our service known as orthognathic surgery. Orthognathic surgery is used to create straight jaws and will help to correct facial deformities, eating and biting problems as well as speech abnormalities. There are many health and psychological reasons why patients receive this form of surgery. For example, they may experience restricted jaw movement that prevents them from chewing or speaking properly. Some patients may also suffer from severe breathing or sleeping problems that may create a poor quality of life.
Some facial and dental deformities may also be linked to severe psychological and social problems. Where possible, patients are referred to us at an early age, usually between the ages of 13 and 16 years old. Surgery typically takes place when they are aged 16, as this is when most jaw growth is complete. Our main aim is to correct the dental, jaw and facial disproportion and eliminate associated health and psychological problems.
Treatment is tailored to the individual patient’s needs and the orthodontist and surgeon work together in combined clinics to provide the highest quality of care. State-of-the-art imaging facilities are always used to help the team of surgeons and orthodontists make the best treatment plans for fitting braces and moving teeth. This normally happens before orthognathic surgery takes place.
Whilst patients are with us, dedicated nurses will ensure that they are well cared for while recovering from their surgery.
At a later point, patients will see their surgeon again to check that their face and jaw has healed. They will continue to see their orthodontist who will make sure that the teeth are in the right place following the surgery.
Patients with emergency medical problems who require a short stay in hospital are referred to our acute medicine services via their GP or the local Emergency Department at Newham, The Royal London or Whipps Cross.
The clinical care of patients admitted in an emergency is shared between our acute medicine and general medicine teams. The general medicine team consists of specialist physicians and their team.
Clinics at St Bartholomew's Hospital
- Salivary gland disease
- Dental and dentoalveolar surgery
- Joint head and neck
- Facial deformity
Clinics at The Royal London Hospital
- Salivary gland disease
Clinics at Whipps Cross University Hospital
- Dental and dentoalveolar surgery
- Head and neck
- Facial deformity
To refer patients to St Bartholomew's or The Royal London, GPs must eRS. Other clinicians may or send a letter to:
Outpatients Appointments Office
Barts Health NHS Trust
1st Floor, 9 Prescot Street
London, E1 8PR
Tel: 020 7767 3200 Our office hours are 8.30am-5pm, Monday to Friday.
To refer patients to Whipps Cross, GPs must use the eRS system. Other clinicians may send a letter or fax to:
Oral and maxillofacial service
Whipps Cross University Hospital
Whipps Cross Road
London, E11 1NR
Fax: 020 8535 6660
For general dental practitioners
Please see the referral information for our dental services.
For out-of-hours and emergency referrals ?
Tel: 020 3416 5000 and bleep the on-call maxillofacial doctor.
For advice and guidance visit our dedicated non-urgent advice and guidance section for GPs.