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Dental specialties

Providing specialist dental care and training

Dental directorate departments

  • Oral surgery

    Coronavirus update

    Our services are open and safe to attend but may be disrupted due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We'll contact you if we have to cancel your appointment.

    If you've been invited for an appointment or procedure it's important that you still come in.

    The acute dental care (ADC) department situated at Guy's Hospital remains open for adult emergency conditions such as dental infection, bleeding and trauma. In order to access this service please call NHS 111, where you will be triaged by a dental nurse and offered an appointment if appropriate, depending on availability. For more details, visit the ADC service page. Patients should be aware that there is only capacity to see a limited number of patients per day. Those who turn up without having been given an appointment though NHS 111 service will be turned away.

    From Monday 24 January we'll be changing how to refer to oral surgery. Visit our referrals page for more information.

    The department is able to undertake treatment for a large number of patients requiring routine surgical treatment suitable for undergraduate training. More complex surgical cases may be managed under sedation or general anaesthesia, as appropriate:

    • simple extractions of erupted teeth and roots, including orthodontic extractions
    • uncomplicated buried roots
    • simple impacted teeth
    • MDT jaw necrosis clinic 
    • the following conditions are accepted for referral to consultant clinics for diagnosis, management advice and treatment:

      • impacted and ectopic teeth
      • apical surgery (see surgical endodontics in the restorative dentistry section for acceptance criteria)
      • dental and jaw cysts
      • soft and hard tissue swellings of the mouth, jaws, neck and salivary glands
      • oral mucosal ulceration, white and red patches of the mucosa
      • any suspected malignancy of the mouth, jaws and salivary glands
      • salivary gland disorders (lumps, obstructive salivary disease, chronic salivary disease, mucoceles, swellings of unknown origin)
      • facial and jaw trauma including fractures and soft tissue injuries
      • craniofacial and jaw deformities
      • facial and dental pain

    Patients requiring oral and facial implant rehabilitation (see restorative referral protocols).

  • Orthodontic extractions under general anaesthesia

    Orthodontic extraction of permanent teeth should normally be performed using local anaesthesia unless there are clear indications for the use of general anaesthesia. Common indications for general anaesthesia would be:

    • Extraction of first molars in patients under 12 years of age.
    • Surgical removal or uncovering of teeth.
    • Patients with special needs resulting in all treatment requiring the use of general anaesthesia. Extractions of both deciduous and permanent teeth should follow the guidelines associated with the use of local and general anaesthesia. In the first instance all patients should be counselled to accept local anaesthesia. If, however, after extensive discussion they feel unable to do so, then they should be offered the opportunity of receiving general anaesthesia. This is the accepted guidance from the Royal College of Anaesthetists and the General Dental Council.
  • Orthodontics

    For new patient appointments

    For follow-up appointments

    The orthodontic department will see patients for diagnosis and treatment planning who are under the age of 25 at the time of referral. Patients will only be accepted for treatment if they fall within grades 4 or 5 of the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need (IOTN) and/or IOFTN.

    A very limited number of more simple cases will be accepted for diagnosis and treatment by dental undergraduates working under supervision. The acceptance criteria by IOTN grade are as follows:

    IOTN Grade 4 - great treatment need

    • Increased overjet greater than 6mm but less than or equal to 9mm.
    • Reverse overjet greater than 3.5mm with no masticatory or speech difficulties.
    • Severe displacements of teeth greater than 4mm.
    • Extreme lateral or anterior openbites greater than 4mm.
    • Increased and complete overbite with gingival or palatal trauma.
    • Less extensive hypodontia requiring pre-restorative orthodontics or orthodontic space closure.
    • Posterior lingual crossbite with no functional occlusal contact in one or both buccal segments.
    • Reverse overjet greater than 1mm but less than 5mm with recorded masticatory and speech difficulties.
    • Partially erupted teeth, tipped and impacted against other teeth.

    IOTN Grade 5 - very great treatment need

    • Increased overjet greater than 9mm.
    • Extensive hypodontia with restorative implications.
    • Impeded eruption of teeth due to crowding, displacement, the presence of supernumerary teeth, retained deciduous teeth and any pathological cause.
    • Reverse overjet greater than 5mm with reported masticatory and speech difficulties.
    • Defects of cleft lip and palate.
    • Submerged deciduous teeth.

    Self pay service

    If you wish to have orthodontic treatment at Guy's Hospital, you can now opt for the self pay service. Treatment is provided by orthodontic therapists.

    Please call 07827 956460 for further information and to book a consultation. The price for a consultation will be £200, this will be deducted from the total bill.

    Costs vary from £2,500-£3,500 depending on type of treatment required and will include all appointments, the braces and one removable retainer when required. A deposit of 50% will be payable on your first appointment following consultation prior to beginning treatment.

    Treatment options available are; fixed appliances (braces) without extractions and fixed appliances (braces) with extractions and functional treatment.

    Once treatment is complete and braces have been removed, the orthodontic team at Guy's will continue to look after you for a further 12 months, including a final 12 month orthodontic check-up where you will be discharged back to your general dental practice for further retainer reviews.

    A charge of £90 will be charged for missed appointments, multiple breakages and replacement for misplaced or broken retainers at each appointment.

    Orthodontics emergency clinic

    The orthodontic emergency clinics are available Monday to Friday, by booking only. It is only available to you if you've had your appliance fitted at Guy's Dental Hospital.

    If you have an orthodontic emergency, please call 07827 956 460 to book an emergency visit.

  • Dental and maxillofacial radiology

    The department of dental maxillofacial imaging at Guy's and St Thomas' is withdrawing its service of radiological reporting of plain films to general dental practices. 

    If it is difficult to make a diagnosis from the images, please refer the patient to an appropriate consultant specialist, such as an oral surgeon or children's consultant. If the concern relates to a possible malignant lesion, the referral should be made through the two-week waiting pathway.

  • Dental psychology service

    The dental psychology service provides a service to departments across the dental hospital at Guy’s Hospital – with particular input to the departments of sedation and special care dentistry and oral medicine. We are a specialist service that identifies, assesses and treats psychological difficulties that impact on dental care, treatment and outcomes.

  • Restorative dentistry

    General categories

    • Oncology patients - intraoral cancer resections, obturators and post-radiotherapy management.
    • Developmental defects - cleft lip and palate, hypodontia, joint orthognathic and/or orthodontic cases and amelogenesis/dentinogenesis imperfecta cases.
    • Trauma - severe trauma involving the dentoalveolar complex.
    • Medically compromised - e.g. haemophilia, immunocompromised, organ transplant, infective endocarditis and those requiring intravenous antibiotic cover. (We do not provide care for those patients requiring routine oral antibiotic cover).

    Please note that a patient currently taking Warfarin does not require dental treatment in hospital unless their INR exceeds 4.0

    Restorative dentistry

    A comprehensive treatment planning consultation advisory service is available. A limited treatment service is available for patients in list covered in general categories.


    Patients with the following conditions are accepted for care.

    Conditions of acceptance for specialist periodontal treatment:

    • The referring practitioner will manage all other treatment required
    • Patients cannot be accepted simply because they will not pay NHS charges in the General Dental Service, or private charges if applicable

    Priority patients:

    High susceptibility to periodontitis based on

    • Age of onset
    • Age at diagnosis
    • Disease severity
    • Disease extent

    Medical complications or drug interactions affecting periodontal disease or its treatment

    Patients with complex problems such as:

    • Severe localized gingival recession
    • Lack of attached gingival attachment leading to complication
    • Gingival overgrowth
    Requests for advice

    Consultant opinions and advice on treatment planning will be offered for

    patients referred with the following documentation:

    • Full medical history
    • Comprehensive periodontal charting
    • Appropriate diagnostic radiographs.
    Acceptance of other patients for treatment

    If patients referred for opinions have problems which require consultant-led management, or if there are sufficient facilities for treating them on teaching clinics, they may be offered treatment in the department. Practitioners should

    advise at referral whether they would like this option if available, subject to resources.

    Prosthetic dentistry

    Patients are seen for diagnosis and advice. They are only accepted for treatment if they fall within categories listed under general categories or have had several previous unsuccessful attempts to construct dentures.

    Crowns and bridges

    A full diagnostic and advisory service is available. We are unable to accept patients for rectification of problems with crown and bridgework that has been carried out outside GKT Dental Institute. We are pleased to advise as to appropriate methods of removal and management of fixed restorations. Patients in general categories list are accepted for treatment.


    Patients with the following conditions are accepted for care, subject to availability of facilities:

    • apical periodontitis in teeth that have already been endodontically treated
    • apical periodontitis in teeth with technical difficulties including calcified canals, severely curved canals and internal resorptions
    • endodontic disease caused by dental trauma.

    Conditions of acceptance for specialist endodontic treatment:

    1. the referring practitioner will manage all other treatment required
    2. patients cannot be accepted simply because they will not pay NHS charges in the GDS or private charges if applicable.

    Surgical endodontics

    Patients fulfilling the protocols may be referred either to restorative dentistry or to oral and maxillofacial surgery.

    Apicectomy is only indicated when endodontic treatment has been impossible to complete because of:

    • continuing extra-radicular infection
    • calcification
    • a post which cannot be removed
    • non-negotiability of root canals
    • management of perforations.
    • biopsy of a suspicious periapical lesion

    Implant dentistry

    The following factors need to be taken into account when considering patients for implant treatment:

    • Partially dentate patients should have otherwise healthy intact dentitions, i.e., good oral hygiene, periodontally healthy, minimal restorations and good long term prognosis.
    • Patients losing teeth through periodontitis, endodontic failure, and bridge failure are not usually considered for implant treatment.
    • Replacement of posterior teeth is considered a low priority and not usually accepted.
    • The mere fact that a patient would like to have their existing denture replaced by an implant retained prosthesis or dislikes the thought of wearing dentures does not justify the use of limited NHS funding unless the patient falls into one of the priority categories.

    Patients in general categories list are normally accepted if they are in the following categories:

    Edentulous in one or both jaws
    • Severe denture intolerance
    • Physical due to severe gagging
    • Physical due to severe ridge resorption with unacceptable stability or pain
    • Prevention of severe alveolar bone loss
    • Moderate ridge resorption in patients under the age of 45
    • Moderate resorption in one jaw opposed by natural teeth with a good prognosis
    Partially dentate

    Preservation of remaining healthy intact teeth when the patient has missing teeth due to:

    • Developmental disorders (oligodontia/anodontia or cleft lip/palate)
    • Trauma
    • Complete unilateral loss of teeth in one jaw where dentures are not tolerated or an edentulous span considered too difficult to manage by other means
    Maxillofacial and craniofacial defects
    • Intraoral implants. This group of patients have missing significant amounts of hard and soft tissues in addition to loss of teeth. They result from developmental disorders, trauma and the treatment of tumours.
    Extraoral implants
    • Ears - congenital, traumatic or surgical loss of pinna
    • Eyes - loss of globe with exenteration of orbit due to trauma or resection
    • Nose - loss due to trauma or surgical resection
    • Compound facial defects - usually due to resection for malignant disease

      Please note that the provision of implant therapy is subject to local Primary Care Trust protocols.

  • Sedation and special care dentistry

    The department of sedation and special care dentistry accepts patients with conditions that prevent treatment in general dental practices or community dental services. If patients are accepted it is generally for one course of treatment; depending on capacity this might be one item of urgent treatment. Long-term care, periodontal management, advanced restorative/endodontic treatment and dentures are not routinely provided.

    We do not provide testing or routine treatment for those suspected or confirmed of having an allergy to local anaesthetic agents or latex. There is currently limited access to general anaesthesia for treatment and for patients who require transportation by stretcher.

  • Specialist clinics for blood borne viruses

    This specialist service is provided both in the hospitals (HDS) and in the community dental service (CDS). The service is restricted to patients living in Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham. Patients are only accepted by referral from their dental or medical practitioners or from their HIV physician. The following is a list of the eligibility criteria:

    • If a patient is HIV positive and unwell. A patient is deemed unwell if the following are present - Oral manifestations fof HIV (hairy leukoplakia, candidiasis, Kaposi's sarcoma, ulcerative, gingival and periodontal conditions).
    • If a patient is terminally ill or housebound and needs domiciliary care (CDS).
    • If a patient is HIV positive and in addition has other complex medical conditions such as profound immunosupression.

    If a patient is HIV positive and well and is dentally stable after one or more six-monthly check-ups, he or she will be referred to a GDP. If a patient's health deteriorates at any time and the GDP is in need of reassurance the patient may be referred to the CDS or HDS for review. There will be a number of patients who will be unable to find routine dental care in the GDS. For these patients the CDS will act as a safety net. The referring physician should indicate in their letter that the patient has found difficulty in obtaining care in the GDS.

    It is important to ensure that in referring people with blood borne viruses that you have specific permission to share this information. If so, please highlight this under 'other', providing the relevant information, otherwise refer to the appropriate specialty for the care required.

  • Team care dentistry

    Referrals to team care dentistry should follow the same protocols as for restorative dentistry.

    A limited number of patients requiring integrated restorative dental care of the type that could be undertaken in an average general dental practice are accepted for undergraduate treatment. Patients requiring periodontal treatment only are not accepted.