Your appointment in oral medicine

 

  • Your appointment

    This section explains what you can expect when you come to our:

    • oral medicine clinic - for newly referred patients and follow-up patients
    • specialist clinics - if you already have a diagnosis and/or if you ahve been referred from another hospital
    • clinic for patch testing if you are booked for surgery. All newly-referred patients are assessed at one of our weekly clinics. These are usually held every day. Please note that we do not have an emergency clinic, so if you are having urgent problems, you must go to the acute dental clinic on the 23rd floor.

    All newly-referred patients are assessed at one of our weekly clinics. These are usually held every day. Please note that we do not have an emergency clinic, so if you are having urgent problems, you must go to the acute dental clinic on the 23rd floor.

    Changing or cancelling your appointment

    Call us on the relevant number at the top of the page. Please tell as as soon as possible so we can offer your appointment to another patient.

    Before your appointment

    Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment time. If you are more than 20 minutes late for your appointment, we may not be able to see you.

    We make every effort to see you on time, but you may wish to bring something with you, for example a book in case there are unavoidable delays.

    At your appointment

    We may ask you to produce a saliva sample before you are seen by a member of staff. This to help us make your appointment more efficient. Straightforward consultations will be over within an hour. If your condition is more complex and you have been booked into a clinic where two consultant specialists need to see you, it could take most of the morning or afternoon.

    If you are coming for patch testing then you will need to wait 20 minutes after the patches have been put on and then another 20 minutes after the patches are removed. This may be longer, depending how busy the clinic is and how many people are waiting to be seen.

    If you are coming for a biopsy appointment, please see the biopsy page for more information.

    Investigations

    Our consultant clinics allow you to have a consultation with a specialist in oral medicine. If you need further investigations, we will discuss what they involve with you. You may need:

    • saliva tests
    • blood tests
    • a salivary flow rate evaluation
    • a biopsy
    • patch test
    • CT scan
    • x-rays, MRIs, CT Scans and ultrasound.

    Some of these may take place on the same day as your appointment, while for others you may need an appointment in another department. We may also ask you to have some tests before coming to the clinic for a review appointment. If so, we will send you information on this before your next appointment.

    After your appointment

    Most patients receive a diagnosis on the day of their appointment. If you do, your treatment options will be discussed with you.

  • Your biopsy appointment

    Before your appointment

    Please aim to arrive about 15 minutes before your appointment. It may take more time than usual to reach our department, as the Tower Wing lifts are being replaced. While the improvements are being made, you may have to wait to get in a lift.

    Your biopsy will be carried out under local anaesthetic, so please eat as normal before your appointment and take any medications as normal.

    At your appointment

    We regret that we are usually unable to see patients who arrive more than 15 minutes after their biopsy appointment time. We will try see you on time but this is not always possible if there are unforseen delays.

    We will discuss the biopsy with you and confirm that you are still happy to go ahead. Your appointment should last about 30 minutes, depending on the procedure you are having.

    After your biopsy

    Your mouth may be sore and swollen, so please consider this if you plan to return to work after your appointment. You can take paracetamol or similar painkillers to minimise any discomfort.

    If we use sutures (stitches), these will normally dissolve naturally in about two weeks and do not need to be removed.

    The results of your biopsy will generally take four to four weeks.