Publication of Clinical Standards for Urgent Care and Anxiety Management

Publication of Revised Clinical Standards

The Office of The Chief Dental Officer is proud to announce the publication of the revised Conscious Sedation Commissioning Standard with a change in title, now published as The Clinical Guide for Dental Anxiety Management and the revised Clinical Standard for Urgent Dental Care.

Both documents can be found at the link below:

NHS England » NHS England clinical and commissioning standards

We would be grateful if you would circulate these new standards with your colleagues, peers and network members.

The Clinical Guide for Dental Anxiety Management  

The guide details the clinical standards for the commissioning of anxiety management techniques for patients undergoing dental treatment in community and primary care settings. It does not apply to specialist services provided in secondary care or equivalent settings. It covers behavioural therapies, conscious sedation and referral for treatment under general anaesthesia.    

  • Chapter 2 of the document focusses on anxiety management and the assessment of anxiety. 
  • Chapter 3 describes conscious sedation techniques appropriate to community and primary dental care settings.   
  • Chapter 4 outlines referral for treatment under general anaesthesia. 

Clinical Standard for Urgent Dental Care 

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for preparedness and readiness in healthcare. Specifically, in dentistry, the availability of urgent dental care provision was paramount, as routine dental care was suspended on 25th March 2020, to facilitate compliance with national social distancing requirements.   

Urgent dental care necessitates the need for simple, rapid access to a dental professional within and outside of normal working hours.  The aim of the revised clinical standard is to facilitate standardised, equitable patient access to urgent dental care across England.  The guide is designed to support commissioning teams to work with the dental profession locally to commission urgent dental and out-of-hours care systems.