Referring Patients in the NHS
How can Restorative Services be obtained?
Restorative Dentistry services within the NHS are obtained via a referral system. The patient is expected to be enrolled with a general dental practitioner who retains the responsibility of ensuring that the patient’s general dental health is maintained. The referral is usually made to the consultant either in the hospital or community setting. The referral letter is assessed and triaged by the consultant who then either arranges for the patient to be seen or offers clinical advice to the referring dentist, whichever is deemed appropriate. Once the consultation appointment has taken place, the patient will either be offered treatment within the same setting or returned to the referring dentist for the provision of care with a detailed plan.
The number of patients accepted for treatment within these settings is determined by agreed criteria which are established in line with the region’s oral health needs and demands. Hospital settings will often only accept patients with advanced and complex treatment needs and those requiring multidisciplinary care across different specialities.