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Undergraduate Teaching Clinics

University of Glasgow, Glasgow Dental School Guidelines for direct referral of patients from primary care for Undergraduate Restorative Teaching Clinics

This page sets out details of a direct referral guideline for patients who may be suitable for Restorative treatment by undergraduate dental students. This pathway is entirely separate to that for patients referred to Glasgow Dental Hospital via the established route for Consultant led specialist care.

Prior to referring patients using this pathway professionals should read the guidance notes and the specific referral criteria. It is particularly important to note that patients will be screened for suitability before being accepted.   General guidelines
  • Patients directly referred for undergraduate treatment will initially be seen on a screening clinic to confirm their suitability for undergraduate clinics.
  • Patients who are deemed unsuitable for treatment by an undergraduate will be returned to the referring practitioner for any recommended treatment and not directly transferred for specialist care.
  • If accepted for treatment, patients should remain registered with their general dental practitioner for the provision of any dental treatment that is not to be provided through the undergraduate clinic.
  • On completion of the course of treatment through the undergraduate clinic, the patient will be discharged to their general dental practitioner for continuing maintenance of their oral health/ dentition.
  • Any patient referred for treatment through the undergraduate teaching programme should be willing to accept lengthy treatment appointments and should not be referred because of management problems.
  • The guidance below should be applied in conjunction with guidance for secondary care referrals for Restorative conditions.
  • Patients will be provided with a Patient Information Leaflet, at the screening clinic appointment.
1/ Periodontal treatment We will accept referral directly to the undergraduate clinic of patients whose treatment needs theoretically lie entirely within the scope of primary care; that is, Chronic Gingivitis and early to moderate Periodontitis. In other words, the severity of the periodontal condition does not merit specialist care. Suitable patients may have:
  • Visible plaque and calculus deposits
  • Generalised or localised plaque-associated Chronic Gingivitis.
  • Where there is Periodontitis (Chronic or Aggressive) the disease severity and extent should not exceed the following:
    • Pockets of up to 7mm related to single-rooted teeth at a maximum of 3 sites.
    • Pockets of 5-6mm related to multi-rooted teeth at a maximum of 3 sites; maximum furcation involvement Grade I.
Patients whose disease extent and severity exceeds that described above, or who present with one or more of the other factors referred to under “specialist treatment” should be referred for a consultant opinion. The undergraduate clinic will not accept patients referred for improvement in oral hygiene prior to specialist referral. For those patients deemed suitable, a complete course of non-surgical periodontal therapy will be offered. Following the initial course of non-surgical therapy, depending upon the outcome, the patient may be discharged to the referring practitioner or receive further treatment or ongoing supportive care.

2/ Prosthodontic (Fixed and Removable) treatment

The following patients will be considered for treatment through the undergraduate programme:
  • Patients who require new or replacement complete dentures who do not require a specialist opinion.
  • Patients who require new or replacement partial dentures who do not require a specialist opinion for strategic planning of their overall Restorative care.
  • Patients who require simple crown / bridgework where a specialist opinion for treatment planning is not required.
  • Dentate patients referred with an inadequate standard of oral hygiene may be returned to their referring dental practitioner for oral hygiene therapy or may initially be seen on undergraduate Periodontology clinics. 

3/ Endodontic treatment

The following patients will be considered for treatment through the undergraduate programme:

  • Patients requiring de-novo (first attempt) root canal treatment of any tooth, anterior or posterior can be referred directly to our undergraduate teaching clinics.
  • Patients requiring uncomplicated re-root canal treatment may also be accepted. Such patients should not require re-root canal treatment of a specialist nature and be suitable for treatment by a dental undergraduate.
  • Patients should have active caries under control, satisfactory oral hygiene and the tooth requiring endodontic treatment established as restorable.
  • Patients with complex retreatments, previous endodontic access with complications, limited mouth opening, severe swelling/ pain, possible root fracture/ perforation, post/ file fracture, teeth requiring post removal and roots with severe curvature should continue to be referred for a specialist opinion.

Only referrals with a recent radiograph of diagnostic quality will be accepted.

4/ Routine restorative treatment

  • Patients requiring a course of treatment to make them dentally fit including restorations, caries management and any of the above.