Kettering General Hospital to expand maxillofacial and orthodontic unit

Kettering General Hospital is developing a £1.8m new maxillofacial and orthodontic unit to expand and improve services for patients

The new unit will be double the size of the existing department and have state-of-the-art new equipment including a cone beam CT scanner, 3D printer and intra-oral scanner allowing digital pictures to be taken of the inside of the mouth and teeth.

For the last 41 years the hospital has run its maxillofacial and orthodontic unit from an area within its main outpatients department.

The unit sees some 12,500 patients per year but its current facilities (which consists of two orthodontic surgery rooms, a consulting room, a minor oral surgery room and an X-ray room) are under significant space pressure with no room to expand in the current location.

A better modern environment for patients

Consultant orthodontist, and clinical lead for orthodontics, Mr Julian O’Neill, said: ‘For many years, as a team, we have made the best of our facilities in outpatients but have long wanted to expand and improve the way we deliver our care.

‘We are delighted that the Trust has invested in a state-of-the-art maxillofacial and orthodontic unit on the hospital site.

‘Making the conversion has been a lengthy process – it started in October and is due to complete in May.’

One of the main benefits will be having two dedicated surgical suites rather than one which will give practitioners the capacity to see patients in a more timely way and in a better and more modern environment.

The new unit’s facilities include:

  • A state-of-the-art X-ray facility with an ability to do 3D ‘CT scanner’ type X-rays
  • A state-of-the-art laboratory with 3D printer and intra-oral scanner
  • Two surgical treatment suites
  • Two orthodontic rooms
  • One trauma room
  • Two consultation rooms
  • A health and wellbeing room for nurse-led services such as oral health guidance and dental impressions
  • Designated children’s waiting area with toys and a TV
  • A recovery room for patients who have had minor surgery
  • A laboratory treatment room

The unit will be staffed by three maxillofacial and two orthodontic consultants, supported by five junior doctors, 18 nurses, seven administrative staff and two laboratory specialists.

The new treatment rooms will be equipped with the latest technology for oral surgery and orthodontic treatments.

Patients will also have better waiting and changing facilities.

The hospital’s maxillofacial and orthodontic lab currently supports patients by producing plaster casts of teeth – to help with orthodontic work, along with making a variety of braces and retainers and devices used to ease jaw pain.

Lab manager, Philip Mason, said: ‘In many ways, until recently, the sorts of materials that maxillofacial and dental labs have used haven’t changed much in the last 100 years.

‘But the advent of new digital technology is revolutionising how we work and the move into the new unit will enable us to introduce some of the latest technology and provide better services for patients.

‘Having the extra space, equipment and new facilities will help us to see more patients comfortably and improve their experience of our part of the maxillofacial and orthodontic service.’

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