ADOT-Psychology: Oral-maxillofacial Trauma Psychology Service


The Psychology team works alongside the oral and maxillofacial surgeons to offer a trauma-informed service that understands the impact that facial trauma can have on the whole person, including their family and friends.

Psychologists will sometimes be present in reviews with the surgical team. This is a routine part of the work and is recognition of the emotional impact that undergoing surgery after a traumatic event involves. If you would like to speak to a Psychologist in private about your experiences, then you can request this at any time during your treatment.

Why May I Need Psychological Support?

We know that facial and oral trauma can impact more than just your physical wellbeing; it can also affect your social life and mental health. For example, people who have facial injuries can often experience: 

  • Trauma symptoms, such as:
    • Re-experincing symptoms, also referred to as flashbacks,
    • Avoidance symptoms, such as avoiding particular people or places,
    • Hyperarousal symptoms; this is when people experience high levels of anxiety or fear.
  • Low mood
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Appearance-related distress
  • Family/Relationship problems

It is common for people to experience these symptoms after a traumatic event, and this does not mean that you will go onto develop PTSD. There symptoms will often resolve on their own after a few weeks or months, but sometimes extra help is required if the symptoms persist for a longer period.

We offer assessment at the point of injury to help people to understand and manage the distress associated with trauma symptoms. We often meet with people when they return for clinic appointments, or on as fortnightly or monthly basis to offer support during this early period of recovery. If your symptoms have not improved and you would like to access further support, then we may offer you therapy for trauma within our service, or help you to find a service that can offer you the support you need.

We understand that sometimes it can take time for the aftermath of a traumatic event to sink in. For this reason, we accept referrals for people up to one year after discharge from the surgical team.

You can contact the OMFS Trauma Surgical team directly using their email: . Further information is available through: Oral and maxillofacial - Barts Health NHS Trust 

Special Care Dentistry

We work alongside dental and nursing staff in the Special Care Dentistry Service at the Royal London Dental Hospital. 

Our service provides support for people who are very anxious about visiting the dentist, those who may have a pronounced gag reflex, or those requiring support with their dental treatment due to a medical condition, learning or physical disability or a mental health difficulty. We can also provide therapeutic support to facilitate behavioural change that may have a positive impact on dental health. 

Why May I Need Psychological Support?

  • To feel more confident to go into the dental surgery
  • To feel more confident about receiving a dental injection
  • To have dental treatment
  • To support the conscious sedation process

Further information about the Special Care Dentistry team is available through: Special care dentistry - Barts Health Dental Hospital

Oral Medicine 

We recognise oral medical condition do not just affect people physically, but also emotionally and socially. We offer psychological consultation and assessment to those with oral health concerns, who are under the care of Bart’s Oral Medicine Service. 

During the consultation, we can discuss if you have any psychological needs relating to your oral health and any related treatment. These may include: 

  • Experiencing low mood, depression, anxiety, or panic, either as a result of your oral health concerns, or due to the treatment itself.
  • Feeling unhappy with your appearance due to your oral health concerns.
  • Finding it difficult to make a decision about your treatment. For example, feeling unsure whether to proceed with treatment.

What Do We Offer?

We offer a range of psychological interventions tailored to meet your needs. These may include:

  • Individual therapy
  • Group workshops
  • Specialist memory/cognitive assessment
  • Signposting to appropriate support in the community
  • Coping strategies to manage distressing experiences
  • Coping strategies to manage anxiety and/or phobias related to -treatment
  • Specialist therapy for those experiencing appearance-related concerns
  • Specialist therapy for those experiencing difficulties in their relationships

We also offer group-based interventions to provide psychoeducation on managing anxiety, low mood and/or living with chronic pain. 

You can contact the Oral Medicine team directly using the following details:020 7377 7677. Further information is available through: Oral medicine - Barts Health Dental Hospital

Orthognathic Psychology Service (OPS)

We work alongside Consultant Maxillofacial Surgeons and Orthodontists to provide psychological support to individuals undergoing orthognathic treatment. The service is based at two hospital sites, the Royal London Dental Hospital (Whitechapel) and Whipps Cross hospital (Leytonstone). 

Our aim is to provide a psychological pathway of care for service users, at all points along their Orthognathic journey. This may involve assessing appearance concerns, expectations and understanding of surgery, as well as any mental health concerns that may impact on the treatment process. 

We offer support to service users and their families to meet individual needs, and improve treatment outcomes.