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Community Special Care Dentistry

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Aim of service
To provide comprehensive oral health care to patients for whom treatment in the general dental service is unsuitable.

Criteria for accepting patients to the Community Special Care Dental Service

Any patient, resident in Lambeth, Southwark, Lewisham, Bexley, Greenwich, Croydon, Richmond, Kingston, Merton, Sutton or Wandsworth who has one or more of the following conditions is eligible for treatment in the Community Special Care Dental Service:

• Physical disability
• Medically complex conditions
• Sensory disability
• Learning disability
• Autism/ASD
• Children under 16 with rampant caries (3 or more decayed teeth)
• Severe mental health conditions

The service will accept patients who are phobic or have severe dental anxiety only where there are other conditions that would render them eligible for treatment (see list above).

Requests for treatment for inpatients within local hospitals will only be accepted for long stay patients with one or more of the conditions set out above.

This is neither an emergency dental service nor a denture replacement service and hospital staff members should either refer to in house dental departments, where available, or local general dental practitioners for short stay patients that do not meet the acceptance criteria set out above.

Services offered under referral
• Comprehensive special care and paediatric dentistry using appropriate means of behaviour and anxiety control
• Domiciliary visits
• Hospital based sedation or GA

Who can make a referral?
Referrals will be accepted from the groups listed below
• General Dental Practitioners
• General Medical Practitioners
• Dental hospital staff
• Other appropriate health & social care professionals e.g. district nurses for patients confined to their homes receiving palliative care
• Appropriate voluntary organisations
• Carers of people with special needs

How to make a referral
Referrals must be made using the referral form which can be found here and be accompanied by radiographs/photos, where appropriate. Electronic referrals are preferred.

The assessment process
In cases where domiciliary visits are requested an assessment of the patient may be undertaken, by phone, as part of the referral process.
Any inappropriate or incomplete referrals will be rejected and returned to the referrer with a letter setting out the reasons for the rejection.
The central referral team will forward processed referrals to a team of Senior Community Special Care Dentists for clinical triage and where appropriate allocation to one of the Community Special Care Dental Service Clinics in South London or a local hospital.

Any queries about the referral process should be directed to the central team on 020 3299 3480 prior to submission of the referral form.

Appointments will be made by the central referral team and the patient will be notified by letter.
Where a referral has been made by a healthcare professional written notification will be sent, on completion of treatment, to be added to the patient record.
Children referred with high levels of decay will be made dentally fit. Their parent/carer will then be advised to find a local dentist for future care or they will be discharged back to their referring dentist. Children meeting other criteria for the service may remain within the Community Special Care Dental Service.

(Administrative HQ, not the clinic address) Ground Floor, 161 Denmark Hill, London, SE5 8EF
Umbrella org:
Kings College Hospital
Area serviced:
Patients must be resident in Lambeth, Southwark, Lewisham, Bexley, Greenwich, Croydon, Richmond, Kingston, Merton, Sutton or Wandsworth.
0203 299 3480
020 3299 3267
Who is it for:
Patients for whom treatment in the general dental service is unsuitable.
How to apply:
Referrals accepted from General Dental and Medical Practitioners, dental hospital staff, other appropriate health & social care professionals, appropriate voluntary organisations, carers of people with special needs.