Oral Surgery

What is oral surgery?

Oral surgery involves diagnosing and managing dental conditions that require surgical intervention. This includes tooth extractions (particularly wisdom teeth), placing dental implants, performing biopsies of possible oral pathology and a raft of other surgical procedures.

Female with beautiful teeth

Meet your Dental Surgeon

Mike Tame

Dr Michael Tame

BDS(Bristol) FFD(OSOM)RCSI MFDS RCS(Edin) GradDipSurgDent(Syd)

Dr Mike Tame is a dental surgeon with extensive experience in oral surgery in both Europe and Australia and is the director of East Coast Oral Surgery Services.

Originally from Cardiff, he graduated with a Bachelor of Dental Surgery from Bristol University in 2000 and commenced his surgical career in 2003 in the Oral and Maxillofacial unit of the Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport. Dr Tame spent seven years training and working with oral and maxillofacial surgeons in the UK prior to emigrating to Australia in 2009 and has been awarded the Memberships of the Faculty of Dental Surgeons, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and Glasgow, the Diploma of Surgical Dentistry from Sydney University and the Fellowship in Oral Surgery and Oral Medicine from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

He has held academic teaching positions with the University of Queensland and University of Sydney and operates from dental practices, private hospitals and day surgeries in the Sydney metropolitan, NSW rural and Illawarra areas.

Dr Mike is very approachable and will ensure you are followed up after your surgery to aid with a smooth recovery. He takes pride in treating people gently, with the utmost care and attention.

Dr Tame is committed to continuing education and keeps up to date with all the latest developments in dental and surgical fields by regularly attending international and domestic surgical conferences.

Dr Tame is affiliated with several professional bodies:
Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (MFDS RCS) and Glasgow (MFDS RCPS)
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (FFD(OSOM)RCSI)
British Association of Oral Surgeons

Outside dentistry, he is never far from the water or the surf, enjoying the beautiful NSW coastline.

Meet your Dental Surgeon

Dr Robert Weld-Moore

BDentSci, D.Ch.Dent, BA, MFDS RCS

Dr Weld-Moore completed his dental degree from Trinity College Dublin in 2003 before commencing training in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the Dublin Dental Hospital where he worked as a Senior House Officer. During this time he was awarded the Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (MFDS) before moving to the UK to pursue further training in the speciality at King’s College Hospital, London. He went on to achieve an appointment as a Staff Grade Oral Surgeon in the world-renowned Oral and Maxillofacial department of Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead.
Following this appointment, Rob was lured by the sunshine of Australia and worked in Sydney for three years. In 2015, he returned to Ireland to commence further specialist training in Oral Surgery and in 2018 he completed his Clinical Doctorate in Oral Surgery (D.Ch.Dent) from Trinity College Dublin.
This academic program included writing a thesis, which was on the effect of osteoporosis on the bones of the face. He has written articles for a number of peer-reviewed journals including the British Dental Journal.
Dr Weld-Moore is able to provide specialist Oral Surgery treatment under local or general anesthesia. Rob likes to treat patients with compassion and respect, and particularly enjoys treating nervous patients.

Rob enjoys the lifestyle that New South Wales has to offer. At weekends he can be found in the water surfing and enjoying the sunshine.

Meet your Dental Surgeon

Dr Michael Chen

BDS

Dr Michael Chen graduated from The University of Sydney in 1993, obtaining a Bachelor of Dental Surgery. Dr Chen has worked in a variety of dental settings including public health, health fund centres and private practices. He currently holds a Dental Officer staff position in the specialist Oral Surgery Department of the Sydney Dental Hospital, where he performs and teaches Oral Surgery to the next generation of surgeons.

 

Dr Chen has limited his practice to Oral Surgery and has over twenty years’ experience in this field. His services include wisdom teeth removal, difficult extractions and minor soft tissue oral surgery under local and general anaesthetic. Michael is very compassionate and a highly skilled operator.

Outside the clinic, Michael enjoys spending time with his wife and three kids. He has a love of surfing, fishing and anything outdoors. Michael also has an active involvement in his local church community.

Frequently Asked Questions

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I’m nervous about dental surgery, can you help me with this?

We understand that it’s completely normal to feel apprehensive about dental procedures and we take the time to discuss how we can make it a more relaxing experience for you. A variety of sedation options are available to make you more comfortable during the procedure, and your surgeon will gladly discuss these at your consultation appointment.

What can I expect at my initial consultation?

Your surgeon will listen to your concerns, examine your mouth and gather all the information needed to present the best possible treatment options to you. The consultation is also designed for you to meet your surgical team and talk about any specific queries you may have.

If you are in pain or cannot wait, we will do our best to fit you in as soon as possible. In some circumstances you may be able to book straight in for surgery on the same day as the consultation if your surgeon feels it is ok to do so.

What are wisdom teeth, and why do they cause problems?

Wisdom teeth are the third in the row of molar teeth to erupt into the mouth and there are usually four of them (two upper and two lower) but this varies through the population. They typically begin to come through during late teens to early twenties but occasionally may not pose problems until later in life.

Not all wisdom teeth need to be removed but unfortunately in many cases when wisdom teeth erupt they can become stuck, or ‘impacted’, onto adjacent teeth or bone. This can make the gum pocket around the teeth sore or infected, a painful condition known as pericoronitis.

Other common problems caused by impacted wisdom teeth include:

  • Food trapping
  • Decay or resorption (destruction) of the wisdom tooth or adjacent tooth
  • Plaque accumulation causing gum disease/decay/bad breath
  • Cyst formation
  • Disruption to orthodontic treatment/crowding of teeth
  • Cheek biting, causing soreness or ulcers

Who can remove wisdom teeth?

All dentists can remove wisdom teeth, but you may need to be referred to dentists who have extensive experience in this area. Dental extractions that are carried out skilfully, carefully and quickly result in less pain, fewer complications and a faster recovery.

What is oral pathology?

Occasionally, changes in the colour and texture of the oral tissues can indicate a sign of disease. It may be appropriate to arrange further investigations or carry out a simple biopsy of the oral tissues. A small tissue sample is surgically removed usually under local anaesthetic and then small stitches are placed. The biopsy allows your surgeon to reach a clear diagnosis and be able to manage any problems accordingly.

What are orthodontic surgical procedures?

If you are planning to undergo orthodontic treatment, your orthodontist may require you to have teeth extracted, or to surgically uncover unerupted or impacted teeth so they can be pulled into the mouth with braces.

Do you place dental implants?

Yes we do. Dental implants are a fantastic option to replace missing teeth and you may be referred by your dentist for the surgical procedures to place the implants. Sometimes gum and bone grafting may be required to make your implant more stable and appear more natural. Your referring dentist or dental specialist will then restore the implants with crowns after they have been placed by your surgeon. Thorough treatment planning and close co-operation between your dentist and your surgeon throughout the process are critical to achieving the best outcome.

If I need surgery or extractions, will I feel it? Can I choose to be asleep or awake?

You can choose whether you would like to have the treatment carried out in our clinic awake in the chair, or if you would prefer to be asleep at a local private hospital or day surgery.

Your surgeon will always ensure you are appropriately numbed prior to commencing any work. This can be achieved with:

  • A local anaesthetic (in the chair) – your mouth is numbed so you are pain free during the procedure.
  • A local anaesthetic, with oral sedation – you can be given medications to take before the procedure to make you feel relaxed prior to also having your mouth numbed.
  • A local anaesthetic, with IV (twilight) sedation – a visiting dental sedationist or anaesthetist will administer medications intravenously to sedate you during the procedure.
  • Under a general anaesthetic (asleep) – this is carried out at a local day surgery or private hospital.

Your surgical team will discuss these options at the initial consultation to best suit your needs.

What can I expect from recovery?

All surgical procedures carry risks and all the relevant risks will be carefully explained by your surgeon at your initial consultation. After surgery you can expect soreness and swelling for 5-7 days afterward and should plan time off work or your normal duties. The surgical team will provide you with detailed post-operative care instructions. We always make sure you have someone to call if you need any advice in the days and weeks afterwards, so you will never be on your own.

I am taking prescribed medicines, is this relevant?

It is important that you disclose all medications and drugs you are taking to your surgeon at your initial consultation. If these medications are likely to affect the surgical procedure or healing (e.g. blood thinners or bisphosphonates for osteoporosis), your surgeon will advise you of the best course of action. Sometimes we may need to speak to your doctor to ensure treatment is carried out in the safest possible way. Never stop taking a prescribed medication unless you have first consulted your doctor.

Fees

Our surgeons aim to offer a cost-effective service for patients whilst still providing high-quality care. Interest-free payment plans are also available to provide payment flexibility and our friendly receptionists can answer any questions you have regarding this.

Privately insured patients may need to pay a ‘gap’ fee. However, if you have private hospital cover and wish to have a general anaesthetic, your stay in hospital is often completely covered in addition to covering most of the anaesthetist’s fees.