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N. Shaun Matthews, DDS, MD - UNC-Chapel Hill. Chapel Hill, NC, US

N. Shaun Matthews, DDS, MD N. Shaun Matthews, DDS, MD

Associate Professor, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Director of Telehealth | UNC-Chapel Hill


Dr. Matthews is Director of Teledentistry and a world-renowned leader in oral, maxillofacial and TMJ (jaw joint) reconstructive surgery.





 Dislocation of the Temporomandibular Joint loading image


Success: Not Just For One, But For All



A native of Barbados, Nigel Shaun Matthews was educated on the island through high school. He subsequently studied in the United Kingdom: first dentistry in Scotland, then medicine in London. He spent three years as a resident in general surgery and general medicine, followed by five years on the oral and maxillofacial surgery residency program in the West of Scotland. At the completion of his surgical training, he was appointed Consultant at Hammersmith Hospitals. Three years later, he was appointed Consultant at King’s College Hospital in London where he remained for nine years.

During his time at King’s College Hospital, Matthews developed an interest in TMJ problems and created an interdisciplinary group with pain specialists, surgeons, physical therapists, psychiatrists, restorative dentists, maxillofacial prosthetists and others to provide comprehensive care for this population. This team is the only comprehensive unit of its type in the UK and this model of care is now being adopted worldwide.

Matthews is a well-known thought leader in oral and maxillofacial surgery and has been published widely in international journals. He maintains membership in a number of professional organizations, including the American Society of TMJ Surgeons, and has lectured and presented abstracts at numerous professional meetings. His work has also been extensively cited in several international newspapers, as well as the BBC News.

Areas of Expertise (9)


Maxillofacial Trauma

Artificial Jaw Joint Prostheses


Facial Reconstructive Surgery

Oral Surgery

Jaw Joint Reconstruction

Orthognathic Surgery

Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

Accomplishments (5)

Barbados Golden Jubilee Award

2016 Awarded by the Barbados government for outstanding service in the UK in the field of medicine and surgery. This was a part of the 50th anniversary of independence celebrations.

ADEA/AAL Faculty of Color Tuition Scholarship for Professional Development:Chairs and Academic Administrators Management Program


Barbados High Commission Charity Award Amanda Leon Appeal Fund


3rd Place OMFS National UK Trainer of the Year


London's Trainer of the Years


Education (5)

Dundee Dental Hospital, Dundee, Scotland, UK: DDS 1986

Royal College of Surgeons, England: FDS 1994

Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School, University of London: MBBS 1995

Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh, Scotland: FRCS 1999

Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh, Scotland: FRCS (OMFS) 2002

Event Appearances (7)

Surgical Approaches to the Temporomandibular Joint

5th Annual Duke University Craniomaxillofacial Trauma Anatomy Course, 2018  Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA

The Nuts and Bolts of the Temporomandibular Joint in the Rheumatology Patient

Rheumatology Grand Round Presentation, 2018  Thurston Research Center, UNC

The Management of Temporomandibular Dysfunction – To Operate or Not to Operate, that is the Question?

Raleigh-Wake County Dental Society Meeting, 2018  North Ridge Country Club, Raleigh, NC

Alloplastic Reconstruction of the TMJ in Ankylosis and Hemifacial Microsomia

Otolaryngology Grand Round Presentation, 2017  Physician’s Office Building, UNC Hospitals, Chapel Hill, NC

Teledentistry – Is it the Future or a False Hope

Annual Dental Procrastinators Symposium, 2017  Airport Center Parkway, Charlotte, NC, USA

The Management of TMD – The Surgery, The Science & The Successes

Durham Orange Dental Society (John Dilday Keynote Lecture), 2017  The University of North Carolina School of Dentistry, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

The Management of Temporomandibular Dysfunction – Is Surgery an Option?

Is Surgery an Option?” Update in Oral Surgery for the General Dentist, 2017  The Friday Center, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

Sample Talks (5)

Chronic TMJ Dislocation: Consequences and Management Options

Presented to the European Society of TMJ Surgeons 2018 Scientific Conference, Munich, Germany.

The Management of Temporomandibular Dysfunction – Is Surgery an Option

Given in 2018 to the University of the West Indies, School of Dentistry, Mount Hope, Trinidad, West Indies.

The Role of Virtual Surgical Planning in the Management of Complex TMJ Surgical Procedures

Given in 2018 to the Caribbean Dental Program 2018, Accra Beach Resort, Barbados, West Indies.

Teledentistry – Is it the Future or a False Hope

Given in 2017 to the Annual Dental Procrastinators Symposium, Airport Center Parkway, Charlotte, NC, USA.

A Career in Academia and Clinical Research – My Personal Journey

Given in 2015 to Dental Student Research Group – Distinguished Speaker Series, University of North Carolina School of Dentistry, Chapel Hill, NC, U.S.A

Research Grants (4)

"Virtual" TMJ Clinic Model

Paediatric Rheumatology Dept. at the University of North Carolina and Duke University Hospital 

2018-Present The integration of telehealth and interprofessional collaboration in a “Virtual” TMJ Clinic Model for the management of patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis A collaborative research project with the Pediatric Rheumatology Dept. at the University of North Carolina and Duke University Hospital.

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Oral Health Grant

A collaborative research project between the Oral Health Section of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry and East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine $250,000

2018-Present Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Oral Health Grant - Opioid prescribing in dentistry and the development of clinical practice guidelines for the use of analgesics by dentists in outpatient settings.

Teledentistry Think-Tank Summit

Rizzo Center, Chapel Hill, NC, U.S.A; $37,500

January 2018-October 2018 Planning Grant

King’s Tele-Health Clinic Initiative

King’s Charity Grant $40,000 GBP

2011-2013 King’s Charity Grant to develop a pilot project to provide proof of concept.

Courses (6)

2016 National OMFS Residents Course in TMJ Arthroscopy and Total Joint Replacement Surgery

Course Leader UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Oral Surgery Course for 3rd year dental students at UNC School of Dentistry

Director; this includes running cadaver “suturing techniques” and “exodontia” labs for students on this course.

Surgical Tutor

Royal College of Surgeons of England appointed Surgical Tutor for King’s College Hospital with specific responsibility for ensuring the delivery of high quality training to all surgical trainees within KCH Trust.

Maxillofacial Plating

Course Organizer for three (3) successive years of the King’s Maxillofacial Plating course which was aimed at junior surgical trainees nationally.

Educational Supervisor

Educational Supervisor for the dental foundation and core surgical trainees in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at King’s College Hospital.

Human Disease

Lecturer in Human Disease to 3rd year dental students.

Articles (5)

Ultrasound versus magnetic resonance imaging of the temporomandibular joint in juvenile idiopathic arthritis: a systematic review

International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

B.L. Hechler, J.A. Phero, H. Van Mater, N.S. Matthews


Abstract A systematic review of published articles on ultrasound (US) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) in juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) was performed to answer the question “What is the sensitivity and specificity of US as compared to MRI in diagnosing acute and chronic joint changes in patients with JIA?” The most recent evidence was sought in published articles via a search of the PubMed, Ovid, and Embase databases. Article appraisal was performed by two reviewers. Nineteen articles reporting prospective or ambispective studies comparing US to MRI in TMJ imaging were found. Six of these articles were specific to JIA patients. The heterogeneity of these articles made comparison difficult. Of the acute and chronic changes assessed (disk displacement, joint effusion, bony deformity), only joint effusion was appropriately assessed by multiple authors, with US having a sensitivity of 0–72% and specificity of 70–83% as compared to MRI. There was a paucity of studies specific to JIA, with many studying adult, non-rheumatic patients. This systematic review found that dynamic imaging with high-resolution US improves sensitivity and specificity compared to static, low-resolution US. Additionally, there is evidence to suggest that US imaging following a baseline MRI can increase US sensitivity and specificity and may have a future role in disease surveillance.

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Quality of life: patient-reported outcomes after total replacement of the temporomandibular joint

Science Direct

J.Kunjura R.Niziolb N.S.Matthews


Abstract Since publication of the UK guidelines on total replacement of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) in 2008 by the British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (BAOMS), pain scores, mouth opening, and diet have been used as markers of success. We have looked at quality of life (QoL) as another. We analysed the data from a single surgeon on patients who had had joints replaced and devised a questionnaire to find out about the subjective, functional, psychological, and social aspects of TMJ disease. A total of 18 patients who had the same operation were included (mean (range) age 50 (33 - 73) years, mean (range) follow up 30 (18 - 48) months). Jaw function and facial aesthetics had improved, and patients needed less analgesia. Overall, they reported a better QoL with improvements in mood and social interaction, and the activities of daily life were easier. The NHS uses QoL questionnaires to measure success in fields such as orthopaedic surgery, but currently we know of no nationally accepted questionnaire that measures success after total replacement of the TMJ.

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Outcome of combined orthodontic-surgical treatment in a United Kingdom university dental institute

Taylor & Francis Online

Georgina Cartwright, Natasha S Wright, Joyti Vasuvadev, Sarah Akram, Christoph Huppa, Nigel S Matthews


Introduction: This retrospective observational cohort study evaluated effectiveness of combined orthodontic–orthognathic surgical treatment in a UK University Dental Institute. Methods: Patients were identified from a database maintained prospectively throughout a 5-year period of observation. Demographic and clinical data included age, malocclusion, Index of Treatment Need, Index of Orthognathic Functional Treatment Need, orthodontist, surgeon, surgical procedure and treatment-time. Peer Assessment Rating (PAR) scores were generated from pre- and post-treatment dental study casts by a single calibrated examiner. Results: One hundred and sixty two subjects began treatment during the period of observation, 92 completed, 14 elected to discontinue before surgery and 56 remained in treatment. Outcome data were available for 73, 16 males and 57 females (mean age 23.28 [SD, 7.92] years). Within this sample, 33 (45.2%) presented with class II division 1, 6 (8.2%) with class II division 2 and 34 (46.6%) with class III malocclusion. Isolated maxillary and mandibular surgery was carried out in 3 (4.1%) and 24 cases (32.8%), respectively; bimaxillary surgery was performed in 46 (63.1%). Mean total treatment time in fixed appliances was 920.28 days (30.7 months). Mean pre-treatment PAR score was 39.09 [SD, 9.42] and post-treatment 5.86 [SD, 4.25] with a mean 83.7% PAR score reduction, representing a greatly improved occlusal result. Kruskal–Wallis testing found no evidence of any relationship between independent variables and percentage PAR reduction; however, surgeon identity did significantly influence treatment length (P = 0.007). Conclusions: This investigation demonstrates that in terms of static occlusion combined orthodontic–orthognathic surgery is effective in correcting severe malocclusion.

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Health care in your pocket: an e–induction manual

Wiley Online Library

Kathryn Ford, Salim Miskry, Shaun Matthews


Induction is important. It is compulsory for members of staff at the start of a new post, providing orientation and knowledge about an institution. Starting a new job is stressful, and this combined with practical and theoretical inexperience is daunting for a junior doctor. Oral and maxillofacial (OMFS) senior house officers (SHOs) come from different backgrounds of health care and training. Often they are junior dentists with 1 year of vocational training experience, who find that they are working alongside senior surgical house officers of medical background who may be in their fourth year post‐graduation. Additionally, the expectations of these SHOs are high

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Non‐syndromic bilateral dentigerous cysts with significant root resorption: a case report

Wiley Online Library

L.‐V. Vassiliou, S. Lahiri , S.N. Matthews


Abstract Dentigerous cysts are the most common developmental odontogenic cysts and are associated with impacted teeth, usually third molars. Bilateral dentigerous cysts are rare and usually occur in patients with a known syndrome, such as cleidocranial dysplasia. In this study, we report a case of bilateral dentigerous cysts with associated significant root resorption in an otherwise healthy 38‐year‐old female patient. The patient presented with left‐sided non‐tender mandibular swelling and mobility of the left mandibular first and second molar teeth. Radiological investigations revealed two large, unilocular, well‐circumscribed, radiolucent lesions involving the impacted lower wisdom teeth. There was extensive root resorption of the lower molars. The patient underwent enucleation of both cysts and extraction of the involved teeth. Histological features were consistent with dentigerous cysts, with both lesions consisting of a fibrous wall lined by non‐keratinizing stratified squamous epithelium. Non‐syndromic bilateral dentigerous cysts are extremely uncommon. This case, with associated significant root resorption, reflects aggressive biological behaviour and shows that commonly encountered lesions can present as a diagnostic challenge, emphasizing the importance of histopathological analysis in the definitive diagnosis and the overall management.

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