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Specialist dental care

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Service for patients from rural / remote areas

Patients needing specialist services who live more than 100km from the hospital are eligible to claim a subsidy from the Department of Health for travel and accommodation. Claim forms must be signed by the referring practitioner and the treating specialist. For further details regarding eligibility please go to the website:

health.vic.gov.au External website icon
Or call toll free: 1300 737 073

The following specialist dental care services are provided at The Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne (RDHM).Specialist care at RDHM is often provided as part of a treatment plan in combination with other specialty departments, both within RDHM and in other hospitals or health clinics.

These specialist dental services are provided through referral only for eligible patients. This can be a referral from your oral health/health practitioner or by another specialist department in RDHM. The referral is for an initial assessment in the relevant specialist clinical department.

Completion of the requirements for most specialist clinics will present difficulties for non-dental personnel.   It may be necessary to refer the patient to their local community dental agency first, where detailed dental information can be provided.

 

Specialist departments at RDHM:

Endodontics - Level 1

This specialist department performs the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of disease or injury in the tooth roots and surrounding soft tissue. Root canal treatment is used to save a tooth that has been damaged due to decay, disease or trauma to the pulp of the tooth.

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Integrated Special Needs - Level 1

The Integrated Special Needs department has a number of sub units that provide a range of dental assessments and treatments to patients with special needs - including physical, intellectual, mental health, complex medical and geriatric issues. More about the special needs department >>

Units include:

  • RDHM Special Needs clinic for patients with needs as listed above
  • external Domiciliary service for housebound patients
  • mobile Special Schools and Special Development Schools Dental Van service

Other special needs sub units not requiring a referral include:

  • oral health services for people who are homeless - provided at Ozanam House, North Melbourne
  • dental services for incarcerated youths at Melbourne Youth Justice Centre, Parkville.
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Oral medicine - Level 1

This specialist department provides diagnosis, treatment and management of diseases and pain in the lips, cheeks, tongue and jaw.

There are two branches to the Oral Medicine clinic.  These are Facial Pain and Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD), and Oral Medicine – Mucosal.

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Orthodontics - Level 1   

This specialist department corrects teeth and jaw alignment problems using devices such as braces.  The department also provides advice to referring practitioners for treatments they can provide, such as extractions.

Completion of the orthodontic referral form must be undertaken by a dental professional. It is also important for a patients general dental care to be regularly maintained while they are waiting to access orthodontic care or during lengthy orthodontic treatment phases. Eligible patients can access subsidised general care through Community Dental clinics .

 Read more about orthodontics >>

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Paediatric dentistry - Level 1    

This service is for children and adolescents up to 15-16 years of age and manages complex preventive and therapeutic dental problems. 

Care may be offered within two different streams of Paediatric Dentistry clinics dependant on the reason for referral. For example, some children may have dental anomalies requiring specialist level care while others may have behavioural difficulties that make general treatment in the dental chair impossible for them.

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Periodontics - Level 1

This specialist department provides diagnosis, prevention and treatment of simple to severe periodontal (gum) disease.

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Prosthodontics - Level 1

This department specialises in oral conditions associated with missing or deficient teeth and/or the face and jaw. This includes the replacement of natural teeth with removable dentures, crowns, bridges, fixed  implants and facial prosthetics.

Patients have a major role in contributing to the long term success of treatment provided in this clinic.

The replacement of missing teeth is driven by three clinical principles

  1. Attainment of health
    • (no infection)
  2. Dental aesthetics to provide dignity for patients
    • (anterior teeth replaced)
    • (shortened dental arch)
  3. Sufficient numbers of teeth to provide function
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Oral Maxillofacial Surgery - Level 4

Oral Maxillofacial surgery includes the diagnosis and management of conditions that could be affecting the mouth and area around the mouth, such as impacted teeth,extraction of difficult teeth, diagnosis and treatment planning of jaw deformities, cysts and tumors of jaw, other soft tissue lesions of the oral cavity and Dento alveolar surgeries for patients with complex medical histories.

Patients assessed as needing procedures under general anaesthesia (GA) are prescreened and placed on the waiting list according to predetermined clinical criterion. Waiting times are generally shorter for procedures that can be performed under local anaesthesia.

Day Surgery;  Patients can only be referred to the Day Surgery unit for GA by RDHM Oral Maxillofacial surgery, Specialist Paediatric Dentistry, Special Needs Dentistry clinics or Primary Care. 

More information about Day Surgery >>

Related information:

Specialist referral forms and process

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