Better Care

Special Care Dentistry for professionals - how to refer

 special care dentistry header montage

Update on services during the COVID-19 pandemic

As at 9 September 2020

We have SCD services running in all our localities, including IVS and GA where necessary. However we are operating at a much reduced capacity and prioritising those patients who most need specialist SCD care. For full details please see the COVID- 19 Special Care Dentistry Restoration Referral Criteria    

Community-based dental services

We are a consultant-led service providing specialist care on referral for adults aged 16 and over who fit our referral criteria. To fit the criteria, the patient must have a severe disability, medical or mental health condition which results in:

  • severe difficulty communicating, giving consent and/or co-operating with treatment
  • complex medical condition with significant risk of medical emergency, bleeding or healing problems
  • inability to weight bear and transfer into the dental chair without use of special equipment
  • severe and enduring mental health problems with unusual altered thought, extreme mood and behaviour which restricts the provision of care.

We provide dental services for people across the Birmingham, Sandwell, Dudley and Walsall areas. Patients outside of these areas should be referred to their local community dental services. Specialist facilities such as sedation, general anaesthetic, wheelchair recliner, transfer equipment, bariatric chair, cognitive behavioural therapy are available at selected sites.

Facilities for treatment within hospital setting with medical support are available at Queen Elizabeth, Edgbaston, and Russell’s Hall.

Domiciliary care

Those who only require dentures to be made in the home should contact NHS 111 to find information for General Dental Practitioners, who offer domiciliary care.

Referrals may be accepted for some people who are housebound.

Click the link to download the Dental Domiciliary Care Pathway pathway illustration.

Patients with severe anxiety

We offer a service for adults who have extreme dental phobia, which has prevented them from accessing dental care for many years.

Dental Service for Homeless Adults in Birmingham

For more information and how to access this service, please click here

Location of community-based services

white space
This is a tertiary referral service, for people referred by Community Special Care Dental Services from across the West Midlands, whose needs cannot be met locally. 
If a patient requires Specialist Oral Surgery, Restorative or Prosthodontic treatment, General Dental Practitioners should refer to their local community dental service in the first instance - please see our specialty referral guidance.

All referrals are carefully assessed by our triage team to ensure the patient fits our criteria and they have the correct pathway.

We accept referrals from dentists, doctors, allied healthcare professionals and social care professionals.

  • Please click here for the referral form for Special Care Dentistry.
  • Please click here to download the referral criteria information and guidance for Special Care Dentistry.
  • Please click here to review the Special Dentistry referral pathway.
  • Please click here to download the out-of-area Community Dental Services contact list.


Our team

We have an extensive team that includes Consultants, experienced Senior Dental Officers, Dental Officers, Specialty Trainees, Therapists and Nurses holding additional qualifications to support the Special Care team.

Click here to view individual professional profiles of the team.