Dental publications


Dental Record Keeping Standards: a consensus approach

This document outlines a consensus based record keeping standards for the dental profession. These standards were developed with respect to views expressed by the profession in a national survey with an aim to enable ‘one patient, one record, one standard realisation across the NHS.

Starting Well Core: 0-2s dental access and prevention framework

Starting Well Core is a commissioning approach designed to promote dental access and preventive care for children aged 0-2 years. The 2019 NHS Long Term Plan has identified Starting Well Core as a model of care which supports children’s health development as part of a strong start in life. The initiative aims to reduce health inequalities and improve oral health for children aged 0-2 years. The objectives of the initiative include:

  • Increasing dental access and attendance for children aged 0-2 years;
  • Promoting delivery of evidence-based preventive care in practice, including interventions such as oral health and dietary advice, support for oral health behaviour change, and fluoride interventions;
  • Raising public and professional awareness to promote the timely attendance of children aged 0-2 years; and

The purpose of this document is to provide local dental commissioning teams with a framework to support implementation of the Starting Well Core initiative. It includes guidance around how the initiative works, the payment mechanism, securing participating practices, training and resources, and communications and engagement. Dental commissioners working with Local Dental Networks, Dental Public Health colleagues, and wider stakeholders may use this publication to support the development of a local implementation approach that best suits the needs of their local population.

Notes for avoidance of doubt

Avoidance of Doubt: Provision of Phased Treatments – The purpose of this document is to support dental professionals, and to clarify where it might be appropriate to provide phased treatment spanning over several courses of treatment. In turn, this should improve access to high quality NHS dentistry to meet the needs of patients who will not usually have accessed and completed routine dental care in the previous 24 months. This cohort of patients would generally be those with high dental needs and as such are more likely to be adults from a vulnerable background with additional health or social needs. The document was produced in consultation the Business Services Authority and Commissioners.

Avoidance of Doubt: Dental visits for children under the age of 3 years – The purpose of this document is to support dental professionals, and to clarify when children under the age of 3 years are seen in primary care, items that can be claimed on an NHS Contract. It is recognised that early visits for children under the age of 3 years are vital for delivering key preventive messages, acclimatisation and beginning a positive, lifelong relationship with NHS dentistry.  The document was produced in consultation the Business Services Authority and Commissioners.

Avoidance of Doubt: Application of Fluoride Varnish by Dental Nurses – The purpose of this document is to support dental professionals, and to clarify the application of Fluoride Varnish by Dental Nurses in either a clinical setting (treatment service premises) or in a community setting (for example in a children’s centre or nursery):

Notice on the restrictions of use and disposal of dental amalgam (First published 29 June 2018) – The purpose of this document was to inform GDC registrants of the European Union Regulation 2017/852 regarding the use and disposal of mercury. In specific it highlights Article 10 of the regulation which introduces provisions that will need to be implemented by all dental professionals in the UK.

The document shares that work has been done with NHS Choices and the Scottish Clinical Effectiveness Programme, to ensure that information is available online to answer questions from the public, should these arise, and also highlights where patient information leaflets can be downloaded.  

Commissioning Standards

NHS England’s Guides for Commissioning Dental Specialities relate to the commissioning of NHS dental care in England. This series has been collaboratively produced by the dental profession and commissioners overseen by Chief Dental Officer England. Further information can be found on the primary care dental commissioning pages

Our work to date includes publication of:

Accreditation of Performers and Providers of Level 2 Complexity Care

These documents aim to support NHS commissioners in the procurement process of Level 2 complexity services. Currently these documents focus on periodontal, endodontic and oral surgery care. The vision is to support the workforce to provide patient care in the right setting with an appropriately skilled clinician, moving away from hospital-based care to primary care settings.

The documents set out what is required from those wishing to provide facilities for Level 2 complexity treatment. It also gives clear guidance on the evidence required and process to be followed by applicants wishing to gain accreditation to competently perform Level 2 services.