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Oral Medicine is a registrable specialty within dentistry.  


Oral Medicine deals with the diagnosis and non-surgical management of oral mucosal disease, salivary gland disease including dry mouth, disorders of oral and facial sensation including oro-facial pain and connective tissue pathology..


Areas of special interest include:

  • Oral Mucosal disease ( Red and white lesions, swellings, discolorations, oral ulceration)

  • Oral Cancer and precancer

  • Salivary gland dysfunction ( including dry mouth)

  • Taste disturbances and burning mouth

  • Oro-facial pain including TMD (Temporomandibular Disorders)

  • Sleep disorders including Sleep Apnea

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Dr A D Polonowita is a registered specialist in Oral Medicine in both Australia and New Zealand.

Dr Ajith Polonowita graduated from dentistry with a BDS from the University of Otago, School of Dentistry, New Zealand. Following his experience as a house Surgeon in a maxillofacial unit in New Zealand and clinical tutoring at the school of dentistry at the University of Otago, Dr Polonowita moved to Australia to a private practice in Victoria. Further specialist qualification was gained at the university of Melbourne, graduating with and MDSc in Oral Medicine and Oral Pathology in 2001. Membership of the Royal Australian College of Dental Surgeons (MRACDS) was gained in 2008.

Current and past appointments - Oral Medicine 


  • Discipline Head of Oral Medicine, University of Otago

  • Academic Lead and subject coordinator in oral Medicine and Oral Pathology; School of Dentistry and BOHSc, La Trobe University, Victoria; Australia

  • Specialist consultant in oral medicine for Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB), Capital & Coast (CCDHB) and southern district health board

  • Accreditation set member in Oral Medicine for the Australian Dental Council

  • Examiner for Otago University

  • Private specialist service for Canterbury in New Zealand

  • Professional Practice Fellow, Post Graduate Oral Medicine, School of Dentistry, University Of Otago 

  • Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer, University of Otago Medical School

  • Private Specialist in Oral Medicine for Northern Victoria, Australia

  • Editorial referee for New Zealand Medical Journal, New Zealand Dental Journal, Oral Surgery, Journal of Clinical Medicine, BMC Oral Health, Biomolecules, Journal of Cancer Research

  • Accredited specialist at Bendigo Base Hospital, Bendigo Victoria

  • Dr A D Polonowita was a past Vice President of the Oral Medicine Society of Australia and New Zealand (OMSANZ) and Committee member of continuing education for the Australasian Academy of Oral Medicine (AAOM). He is also a member of the Australia and New Zealand Academy Orofacial Pain (ANZAOP). He has also lectured extensively and published many articles. 

  • Board of Studies Oral medicine AHPRA

  • Equivalence committee Oral Medicine  RACDS

  • Australian Dental Council accreditation team (SET member)

  • Dental Council of New Zealand (equivalence committee)


Dr A D Polonowita is a Paul Harris Fellow and has many other interests outside of specialist dentistry, including charity work with the Asian Tsunami 

Simon Guan ( BDS, MDS, MBChB, FOMAA)

Simon is currently a senior lecturer in Oral Medicine at the Faculty of Dentistry, University of Otago, New Zealand. He graduated with BDS, and qualified as a registered Oral Medicine Specialist after completion of his MBChB and DClinDent in 2017 from University of Otago. He has mentored undergraduate and postgraduate students in Oral Medicine and TMJ diseases. Simon’s research interest include the pathogenesis of oral cancer, oral mucosal diseases and temporomandibular joint research.

Dr Simon is a member of the New Zealand Dental Association and fellow of Academy of Oral Medicine Australasia

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