Community dental services
Community dental services provide care for people who find it difficult to access a general dental practitioner, and need treatment on referral.
Dental services for people who find it difficult to access a general dental practitioner (GDP) are known as special care dentistry. Services aim to improve the oral health of people who, for example, may be elderly, housebound, or have severe physical disabilities or mental health problems.
Community dental services may also provide specialist treatments on referral from a general dental practitioner (GDP). These can include:
- Endodontics: the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the tooth root and the pulp (nerve) of the root. Most endodontics takes the form of root treatment where the infected pulp tissue is removed, and the root canal cleaned and filled to prevent re-infection of the root canal and the bone surrounding the root tooth.
- Periodontics: periodontal disease affects the gums, bone and other supporting tissues of the teeth. If left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss. It is caused by the bacteria which regularly collect on the teeth. Other risk factors include family history, stress, smoking and diseases such as diabetes.
- Removable prosthodontics (dentures): assessment, advice and treatment of complex dentures cases for patients whose dentist has provided dentures and further assistance is required.
Treatments may be accompanied by sedation or anaesthesia.
The service also promotes oral health improvement and the prevention of disease.
After treatment, patients may be referred back to their own dental practitioner and advised when to have their next routine dental check-up. Some patients will remain in the care of the community dental service if this is a better way of meeting their needs.
Treatment charges and exemptions
For patients who pay for their dental treatment, NHS standard charges apply. Dental treatment is allocated to one of three bands and the charge varies accordingly.
More information about NHS dental charges
Patients should bring proof of exemption from charges to their appointments. There are some cases where patients may be exempt from some or all of the treatment costs. For more information on whether or not this applies, telephone 0845 850 1166.
Eligibility criteria and referrals
Eligibility criteria and referrals vary according to location. For details, choose a service from the list below the map.
Where can you find this service?
- ABuckinghamshire Priority Dental ServiceDental Head OfficeEaglestone Health Centre, Standing Way, Eaglestone, Milton Keynes, MK6 5AZmore service details
- BHillingdon Community Dental Referral ServiceDental Department, Uxbridge Health Centre, George Street, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 1UB more service details