October 9th, 2019
The British Dental Association (BDA) of Scotland has called on the government to do more to tackle oral surgery waiting times.
The BDA has spoken out after a Freedom of Information (FOI) Request from the Scottish Liberal Democrats revealed that some patients have waited more than 120 weeks for ‘life-changing’ maxillofacial treatment.
The FOI request found that one patient in Grampian waited 243 weeks (4.6 years) for an outpatient procedure – falling far short of the government’s 12-week waiting target.
The figures cover treatment for mouth, jaw, face and neck treatments which can restore functionality following injury or serious illnesses like oral cancer – one of Scotland’s fastest growing cancers.
BDA Scotland said problems filling consultant vacancies, as well as underfunding for primary and secondary dental care were fuelling the wait-time crisis.
The number of hospital referrals for tooth extractions is also on the rise, because of the lack of support for senior clinicians in high street clinics in training younger dentists, BDA Scotland said.
High street dentists are currently paid just £16.25 for an extraction. Data published in June revealed more 5,000 people had been waiting for more than 12 weeks for dental extractions in Scottish hospitals.
David McColl, Chair of the British Dental Association’s Scottish Dental Practice Committee said: “Patients shouldn’t be waiting eons for life-changing surgery. These procedures can help restore both functionality and appearance to a patient’s teeth and mouth after cancer or serious injuries.
“Years of underinvestment and failure to support high street practice are heaping huge pressures on our hospitals. Ministers can’t go on treating dentistry as an optional extra in Scotland’s health service.”
March 1st, 2008
Haven’t you ever dreamt of having a beautiful face with chiselled jawbones and an attractive smile? Here is how it is possible. This surgery is called orthognathic surgery, which is performed to correct the skeletal malformations in jaws, face, and temporomandibular joints. This includes osteotomy of some of the bones involved and then rejoining them in their proper position to improve certain conditions such as abnormalities in one’s bite, cleft lip, sleep apnea, etc. By this procedure, the maxilla (upper jaw), mandible (lower jaw) or both the bones are surgically cut to correct the bite of the individual thereby improving the facial appearance. In London, this surgery is exclusively done by maxillofacial surgeon with the assistance of an orthodontist. In all cases needing this type of surgery must be planned in advance by a team of doctors including an orthodontist and a maxillofacial surgeon, to get optimum results. Before beginning the treatment, your dentist would collect all the data about your health and previous treatments and will take some x-rays images and MRI of the area to be reconstructed so that he will get the exact measurement of the parts to be corrected. The next step is planning the dental treatment by an orthodontist who will align the teeth properly with the help of braces. The usage of braces help teeth to be properly aligned to make sure the bite will be proper after surgery. Generally, it would be necessary to use these braces for a few more months even after surgery to get the optimum result. After orthodontic treatment, orthognathic surgery is performed to correct the bony/structural abnormalities. Generally, a correct alignment is achieved through procedures such as LeFort, which is performed on maxilla (upper jaw);or through other osteotomy procedures such as bimaxillary, mandibular osteotomy, open bite, or genioplasty. After the surgery, the surgeon wires both the jaws together to get perfect alignment, but this type of wiring has now been replaced with bone plates. Wiring restricts the patient from opening the mouth to a certain degree and limits his food intake to strictly fluid-only for weeks together. However, nowadays this is not much in practice. In London, high tech orthognathic surgeons opt for bone plates for anchoring of jaws so that patients can open their mouth without much limitation. Chewing is restricted until a satisfactory healing is obtained and would require frequent followups with your surgeon to rule out postsurgical complications and to ensure proper healing process. As this surgery is done under general anaesthesia, some complications as related to general surgery such as bleeding, infection, nausea, vomiting, numbness etc. are possible. This surgery is of special help to newborns with cleft lip, cleft palate, people suffering from acromegaly and other hormonal/genetic disorders, and trauma patients with disfigured faces who otherwise would not be able to enjoy a normal life.