Guidance

Introduction

Dental problems are best assessed by dental practitioners who are fully trained in that field, there is a regulator for this area and anyone who wishes to treat dental issues must be registered with the General Dental Council.

The number of patients seeking dental advice from their GP is increasing. There are regional and national challenges around patients accessing NHS dental Services. General Practice is not commissioned to provide dental services. Most GPs will have had little or no training in managing dental issues and should not be expected to fill the commissioning gap or work outside of their competences. GP’s providing treatment for purely dental conditions are unlikely to be covered by the Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice.

The BMA has published guidance to inform GPs of their obligations to patients either requesting emergency dental treatment or asking for an NHS prescription for drugs recommended by private or NHS dentists. It is aimed at all GP’s including out of hours practitioners. The guidance can be accessed at:

 BMA – Patients presenting with dental problems

 

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Prescribing

Dentists are obliged to issue NHS prescriptions to NHS patients where required.

The dental practitioner’s formulary, which is the list of drugs a dentist can prescribe is found on the BNF dental practitioners formulary.

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Advice for GPs for Requests to Prescribe Sedative Prior to Dental Procedures

Our colleagues at Kent LMC have produced the following very helpful guidance which we are sharing with their permission:

“Dentists should not direct patients to GPs requesting they prescribes sedating medications, such as diazepam.

If a dentist wishes to prescribe sedating medications for anxious patients that dentist should be responsible for issuing the prescription. The dental practitioner’s formulary, which is the list of drugs a dentist can prescribe is found on the BNF dental practitioners formulary, includes Diazepam Tablets and Oral Solution.

If the dentist is treating a patient within their practice NHS contract, then the prescription should be on a FP14D form. Dentists do not have EPS.

If the dentist is treating a patient privately, they should issue a private prescription.

Dentists may contact a GP for information or advice, if, for example the patient has a complex medical history.”

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Last Reviewed Date
07/12/2023