Dental referrals

Who can refer

Referrals are accepted from general dental practitioners, primary care dentists within the salaried services, general medical practitioners, paediatricians, and other medical and dental specialists.

How to refer

If your patient lives in a London borough

You should refer your patient to community dental services (CDS) using the CDS dental referral form (Word 87Kb). Details of which CDS office to send your referral to can be found on the CDS referral information document (PDF 308Kb).

If your patient lives outside of London

Dental practices outside of London that wish to refer a paediatric patient, please refer using South East London paediatric dentistry single point of access:  

Urgent referrals

Patients with suspected cancer, acute dento-alveolar trauma (up to 48 hours old) or acute facial swelling of dental origin can be referred directly to us using the details found above.

Dental radiographs

As we wish to keep radiation exposure as low as possible in children, when referring a patient please include any relevant x-rays taken within the last 12 months. Genuine copies of x-rays should be sent to

If your patient has already been registered, you know their hospital number and you have relevant x-rays, the x-rays can be forwarded securely from your email account to, please state the patient hospital number as the reference.

Referral criteria

Patients are accepted from birth until the age of 16 years.

The acceptance criteria are:

  • extensive caries in pre-cooperative or uncooperative children, where dental treatment under local anaesthesia is not possible, and who may require oral rehabilitation or extraction under general anaesthesia, inhalation or intravenous sedation. Efforts by the referring practitioner should be made to identify a general anaesthesia service, for example within a local hospital service, for their patients in the first instance
  • children who have sustained complex dental injuries
  • medically compromised children to whom delivery of dental care poses a risk to their health
  • children with inherited or acquired dental anomalies such as altered tooth structure, shape, size, form and number of teeth
  • children requiring surgical exposure and/or surgical removal of un-erupted teeth
  • children with soft tissue pathology such as oral ulceration, swellings, lumps and bumps
  • children requiring investigation of disorders of eruption and shedding of teeth
  • children with periodontal problems
  • children with extensive tooth surface loss such as erosion
  • phobic children where treatment attempts have failed
  • children with special needs who are not being regularly managed in the local salaried/community dental services.

Referral contacts

Tel: 020 7188 8006