Oral & maxillofacial surgery

Our oral and maxillofacial surgery department is responsible for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting the mouth, jaws, face and neck.

The specialty of oral and maxillofacial surgery is unique in requiring a dual qualification in medicine and dentistry. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons work in multi-disciplinary teams alongside other specialists including:

  • orthodontists
  • oncologists
  • ear, nose and throat surgeons  
  • dermatologists
  • plastic surgeons

The department is based at the Carlingford Centre and offers a consultant-led service in maxillofacial and oral surgery. We provide a comprehensive service in the specialty, and form part of the Greater Essex Oral and Maxillofacial Network alongside the units at Basildon, Chelmsford and Colchester. The network's hub is centred at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford which is where our out of hours emergency service is provided from. 

The department runs regular outpatient clinics at Southend Hospital for general referrals and specialist multidisciplinary clinics, minor operating sessions under local anaesthetic and day case surgery under general anaesthetic. In addition, we form part of the multidisciplinary team providing management for babies and children with tongue tie.

Consultant specialists working in this area are variously termed oral surgeons, maxillofacial surgeons or oral and maxillofacial surgeons. They treat a range of conditions including facial injuries; head and neck cancers; salivary gland diseases; facial deformities; facial pain; impacted teeth; cysts and tumours of the jaws, as well as mouth ulcers and infections.

Specialist areas

Dentoalveolar surgery

Dentoalveolar surgery is surgery of the tooth-bearing part of the jaws including impacted teeth, complex tooth extractions, cysts and lesions of the oral mucous membranes.

Oral medicine

Ulcers, infections and diseases of the mouth. The diagnosis and medical treatment of a wide range of conditions of the oral mucosa is carried out in the department.

Orthognathic surgery / facial deformity

This involves surgically moving the jaws and correction of anomalies of the face and mouth. Treatment planning is carried out in conjunction with our orthodontic colleagues, who prepare the dental arches prior to surgery. Craniofacial deformity, cleft lip and palate and post traumatic deformities are managed in a multidisciplinary environment.


The treatment of facial fractures including orbital fractures, lacerations, craniofacial trauma and post traumatic deformity.

Oral and facial cancers

There is a multidisciplinary approach to head and neck cancer according to NICE guidance. Combined clinics are held with Maxillofacial Surgery, ENT Surgery, Radiotherapy, Radiology, Histopathology and MacMillan Nurse input. Following assessment and treatment planning, patients are treated as appropriate. Radiotherapy +/- chemotherapy is provided where indicated.

Salivary gland diseases

Salivary gland obstruction (stones/strictures), inflammatory diseases, mucoceles/ranulas, benign and malignant tumours, parotid surgery and 'minimally invasive techniques' are provided.

Facial pain

A service for the diagnosis and treatment of facial pain is provided.

Jaw joint disorders

Treatment, including surgery for disorders of the temporomandibular (TM) joints. Most patients are seen on an outpatient basis in the Maxillofacial Unit, but surgery under general anaesthesia is sometimes required.

Medically compromised patients

The management of medically compromised patients requiring dental surgery is an expanding area, with the increase in long-term management of cardiac patients (e.g. patients on anticoagulants), transplants and immuno-compromised patients


Referrals come from general dental and medical practitioners, other hospital consultants, the accident and emergency departments of the hub and spoke centres. Both the oral maxillofacial surgery department and orthodontics team is supported by maxillofacial technicians with special expertise in maxillofacial prostheses and orthodontic appliances.  

Specialist clinics

  • Facial deformity (orthognathic) clinic 
  • Joint head and neck oncology clinic
  • Oral rehabilitation clinic 

Contact us 

Oral maxillofacial surgery department:  01702 385390