CDS provides a full range of NHS dental care for adults and children with additional needs and those from vulnerable groups. Our service is led by a dentist who specialises in special care and all our staff are experienced in working with those who are anxious or require additional support for their dental care. The service is available in 10 clinics across Suffolk (see Our Clinics for further information)
Patients who can self –refer to CDS for dental care include:
- Children with physical disabilities, learning disabilities or behavioural problems and their siblings.
- Children with significant or complex medical problems and their siblings.
- Children in care or foster care
- Children from socially disadvantaged families who cannot access dental care from a General Dental Practitioner
- Children who require emergency treatment who are unable to access a General Dental Practitioner
- Adults with physical disabilities or learning disabilities
- Adults with significant or complex medical problems
- Adults with significant mental health problems who cannot access a General Dental Practitioner
To self-refer to CDS, you can contact your nearest clinic by telephone or in person. You can also contact our central referrals office on 0333 2079952
or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org and request an appointment.
Dentist or Healthcare Referral
Other groups of patients can be seen by CDS on referral from a Dentist (General Dental Practitioner) or other healthcare professional. These include:
- Children in West Suffolk who require treatment with General Anaesthesia (provided at West Suffolk Hospital)
- Children who require treatment with sedation
- Adults in West Suffolk who require treatment with General Anaesthesia (provided at West Suffolk Hospital)
- Adults who require treatment with sedation
- Adults from marginalised and vulnerable groups such as homeless, travellers, asylum seekers.
- Adults referred from specialist units such as drug advisory service, blood born virus team.
Your first appointment
At your first appointment with CDS you will be seen by a dentist who will assess your dental needs. You will be asked to provide information about your general health, including any medications you take and you will also be asked whether you pay for NHS dental treatment. A full list of those entitled to free NHS dental care is available on the NHS choices website - a link is on the right of this page.
An assessment appointment usually takes between 20 and 40 minutes. After the dentist has checked your mouth and teeth, they will talk to you about any treatment needed and any costs involved. They may also make some recommendations about your home care such as tooth brushing and diet. If treatment is needed the dentist will discuss the options available to you which may include treatment under local anaesthetic (numbing the mouth), treatment with sedation or treatment under general anaesthesia. Treatment will only be carried out in agreement with you and in a way that you are happy with.
Exclusions from service
We do not see adults for general anaesthesia where anxiety/phobia is the only reason for the referral: these should be referred to the Oral Surgery Service.
We do not see any patients for general anaesthesia in East Suffolk. Referrals for GA in East Suffolk should be made on the OMFS form via Cambridge Community Services Oral Triage Service at Newmarket Hospital.
What response times to expect
Referrals are all dealt with by our central referrals office. On the day of receipt, referrals are checked in by the referrals administrator and triaged by a dentist. If the referral is appropriate what happens next depends on what the referral is for.
For patients referred for Inhalation sedation or General Anaesthesia or for ongoing care due to their additional needs, an appointment for assessment is booked on the day the referral is received and an appointment card sent by post to the patient. All assessment appointments are made within 6 weeks of the referral being received.
For patients referred for Intravenous sedation, the patient is telephoned on the day the referral is received and if we are able to contact the patient this way, an appointment is made for assessment. If we are unable to contact the patient by telephone, they are contacted in writing and asked to telephone our referrals office to make an appointment for assessment. All assessment appointments are made within 6 weeks of the referral being received or the patient contacting us by phone. If a patient does not contact the referrals office within 4 weeks of us writing to them, the referral will be returned to the referrer.
If for any reason a referral is rejected, the referrer will be notified by phone and this will be confirmed in writing and the original referral returned. This is normally done on the day the referral is received and up to a maximum of 1 week after.