Pope, H: Community Dental Health; March 2012

Community Dent Health. 2012 Mar;29(1):5-7.

This article ‘A description of a specialist led primary care based oral surgery service’, was written by Heather Pope.

Heather is Clinical Director for Dental Services, East Cheshire NHS Trust, Eagle Bridge Health and Wellbeing Centre, Dunwoody Way, Crewe, Cheshire,
CW1 3AW, UK.

AIM:

To describe the establishment of a referral only oral surgery service in a primary care setting together with the challenges, benefits and successes of the service.

PROBLEM:

In 1994 waiting times for hospital for oral surgery and maxillofacial procedures were unacceptably long. A proposal to establish a primary care oral surgery service aimed to complement the hospital-based service, reduce treatment delays.

OUTCOME:

Referrals commenced immediately in response to a managed launch with local dentists recognising the service as a source of expedient and convenient treatment for their patients. The service now treats up to 1300 patients per year.

LEARNING POINTS:

New dental services to dentistry can encompass different specialities. Initial capital investment is needed to develop a more cost-effective service. Recruitment of suitable specialist staff is a critical for success. Staffing, organisation and funding must be sustained.

Community Dental Health website: http://www.cdhjournal.org/

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