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Our Practice

Here at the Hobart Orofacial Pain and Special Needs Clinic, our philosophy is simple:

Every person deserves to be treated with respect, honesty, and understanding.

People require long term ‘best practice’ comprehensive management for their presenting condition, pain, sleep disorder, headaches, or dental care, rather than symptom-based treatment that aims only to ‘fix things’ commonly seen in modern medicine today.  We prefer to offer life long positive changes, and use multidisciplinary treatment plans based on best scientific evidence. Diagnoses are only provided after very thorough and comprehensive evaluations taking into account many factors in the persons history and presenting condition.

Practice sign

Within our website you will find that our practice treats particular complex areas of dentistry that often have significant overlap with Medicine and other specialist areas of health.  Our practice receives referrals from all over Tasmania and mainland Australia, and from all levels of health practitioners including medical GP’s, ENT surgeons, neurosurgeons, respiratory and sleep physicians, pain management specialists, dentists, osteopaths, physiotherapists, and more.  We have also assisted several people from overseas countries such as the UK and USA.

Orofacial Pain incorporates headaches, TMJ Disorders, Trigeminal Neuralgia, facial neuropathic pain disorders, and other facial pain diseases and problems.

Oral Surgery is any surgery required in the mouth, tongue, teeth, gums, and surrounding structures.  This includes single, multiple, and complex extractions, wisdom teeth removal, implants, surgery before dentures, tori removal, tongue-tie repairs (frenectomy on adults, children, and newborns), and sinus surgery.

Dental Sleep Medicine includes conditions such as snoring and sleep apnoea in adults, and sleep breathing disorders in children.  It also includes insomnia management and general sleep problems.  These are often complex and multifactorial issues that definitely should not be addressed with a ‘one size fits all’ approach.

Oral Medicine is the assessment, diagnosis, and management of any diseases and conditions that can occur in or affect the mouth, tongue, and other surrounding areas.  Conditions such as oral cancer, Sjogrens Syndrome, oral thrush, lichen planus, and ulcers all fall under the banner of oral medicine.

All of these areas require considerable experience, expertise, and many years of additional study to be able to accurately diagnose and treat properly so that a person is provided with significant improvement to their long-term health outcomes.

Better the physician should not treat the disease but rather the patient who is suffering from it― Maimonides

Special Needs – Dr Eldridge and his associates are uniquely qualified to care for a wide array of patients who may not be able to receive treatment in a traditional dental setting.  We therefore offer a service to patients of all ages who require or have ‘Special Needs’.  These people are a select and very important part of our community that are often left without adequate treatment, or a ‘place to go’ that understands their needs for dental care.

Special Needs Dentistry includes those people with complex medical histories, the intellectually disabled, Down’s Syndrome, Parkinson’s, Autism, head injury, Dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other persons with mental health requirements that prevent them from being able to have general dental treatment in a dentist’s chair.  In addition, we offer a unique service to those people who suffer considerable anxiety, fears, and phobias about dental treatment.


As a service to the community, all eligible special needs persons receive their treatment at a concessional rate that offer significant reduction of fees to improve access to dental care.  This rate follows the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) Dental Fee Schedule. For further information, please visit our Pricing Structure page.

Sedation – For many people, the thought of dental treatment whilst fully awake can immediately instil a feeling of alarm and concern.  For others, particular dental treatment whilst ‘asleep’, or more accurately, in a state of deep relaxation with very little memory of the procedure, is a much preferred method and often desired mode of treatment.

Intravenous Sedation is an advanced form of anxiety control and is included under the branch of medical anaesthesia. It offers a wide variety of people an ideal and much needed way of undertaking dental treatment. Sedation uses combinations of oral medication, intramuscular and intravenous drugs and therefore must only be performed by persons with advanced training, qualifications, and registration.  Any practice performing sedation must also comply with stringent nationally recognised guidelines in anaesthesia and as such it is much more complex than simply being provided with ‘penthrox’ or nitrous oxide (happy gas).

Any person considering treatment at a dental practice offering ‘sedation’ should always check that appropriate registration, accreditation, and specialised monitoring equipment is present, and that the practitioner has the appropriate skills and experience to care for you throughout the procedure and in the event of an emergency.