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Special Care Dental Service referrals

GPs can refer adult and child patients to the Special Care Dental Service under the following criteria:


  • Moderate or severe learning difficulties and/or challenging behaviour
  • Autistic spectrum disorder
  • Severe mental health problems, including dementia
  • Severely medically compromised
  • Severe physical disability (e.g. need hoist transfer)
  • Post head and neck oncology patients
  • Palliative and end of life care
  • Home visits for housebound patients unable to access a general dental practitioner
  • Phobic or highly anxious patients – details of attempted treatment to date will be required
  • General anaesthetic for comprehensive dental care that cannot be done under local anaesthetic or sedation
  • Treatment under IV or inhalation sedation
  • Bariatric service


  • Learning difficulties
  • Autistic spectrum disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Mental health and psychological disorders, including anorexia and bulimia
  • Complex physical disabilities
  • Very anxious and phobic children – details of attempted treatment to date will be required
  • Very young children with extensive decay
  • Orthodontic extractions where sedation is required
  • Treatment under inhalation sedation
  • Intravenous sedation where deemed necessary for those 14 years and above

Last reviewed: 05 January 2022