This section explains what you can expect when you come to the oral medicine unit.
We offer a number of clinical services and specialist clinics including:
- general oral medicine clinics – for routine referrals and follow-up patients
- specialist clinics – including joint clinics with dermatology, gastroenterology, rheumatology and children’s dentistry as well as clinics dedicated to persistent facial pain and dysplasia
- skin patch testing and local anaesthetic allergy testing.
Please note that we do not have a 'walk in' emergency service. For urgent problems you should attend the acute dental clinic on the 23rd floor, Tower Wing, Guy's Hospital.
Changing or cancelling your appointment
If you need to change or cancel your appointment, please tell us as soon as possible by calling the relevant telephone number.
- New appointments tel: 020 7188 1772
- Follow-up appointments tel: 020 7188 4343
Before your appointment
Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment time. If you are more than 20 minutes late for your appointment, you may not be seen.
We make every effort to see you on time, but you may wish to bring something to occupy you, for example a book, in case there are unavoidable delays.
At your appointment
Most routine consultations will last between 30 minutes and an hour. If your condition is more complex or you need a series of investigations it could take most of the morning or afternoon.
If you are coming for patch testing you will need to wait 20 minutes after the patches have been placed to monitor for early reactions and after they been removed, to allow any initial irritation to subside.
If you are coming for a biopsy appointment, please see the biopsy section below for more information.
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. They may include:
- blood tests
- saliva tests and swabs
- patch testing
- x-ray, MRI scans, CT scans or ultrasound.
Some of these may take place on the same day as your appointment. For others you may need to attend a different department on another day. We may also ask you to have some tests before coming to the clinic for a review appointment
After your appointment
Once we have a diagnosis your treatment options will be discussed with you. Please feel free to ask as many questions as you need to help you understand your diagnosis and management.
Your biopsy appointment
Your biopsy will be carried out under local anaesthesia, so please eat as normal before your appointment and take any medications as normal.
Please aim to arrive about 15 minutes before your appointment. We regret that we are usually unable to see patients who arrive more than 15 minutes after their biopsy appointment time.
We aim to see you on time but this is not always possible if there are unforeseen complications with other cases.
On the day of your biopsy the doctor will discuss the procedure with you and confirm that you are still happy to go ahead. Your appointment should normally last about 30 minutes.
After your biopsy your mouth may be sore, so please consider this if you plan to return to work after your appointment.
You will receive the results of your biopsy at an appointment two-four weeks after your procedure. For suitable cases a telephone clinic will be offered.
For further information, please see our patient information leaflets:
- dental biopsy procedures (PDF 99Kb)
- going home after your dental surgery (tooth extraction, oral surgery or biopsy) (PDF 120Kb)
Below are some useful links to other sites that may be of interest. This does not mean we endorse or accept responsibility for the sites or the information found on them.
Oral medicine conditions
Sjogren's Syndrome resources
Persistent facial pain