Skip to content
left end
left end
right end

Paediatric dentistry

On this page you will find:

  • What we do
  • Our specialisms
  • Conditions we treat
  • Treatments we offer
  • Paediatric dentistry referral criteria
  • urgent referals
  • Patient information leaflets

What we do

We provide specialist dental care for children. We hold joint paediatric dentistry and orthodontic clinics.

Our specialisms

We provide dental care for children with chronic medical conditions and learning difficulties.

We also treat trauma and developmental anomalies, such as missing teeth and tooth structure defects.

Conditions we treat

Trauma - injured teeth

Dental caries - decayed teeth

Developmental anomalies - missing teeth, extra teeth and teeth with an unusual appearance.

Treatments we offer

Restorations - fillings in teeth

Aesthetic treatments - improvement in the appearance of discoloured front permanent teeth

Root canal treatment - fillings in teeth which have 'died' - usually front teeth that have been injured

Preventive care - help with preventing dental disease.

Paediatric Dentistry referral criteria

 Acceptance criteria: (For routine referral)

  • Inhalational sedation- this requires co-operation from the child, the average age group is 6-15 years of age, and is not indicated for multiple extractions of primary molars (we are unable to accept referrals for routine orthodontic extractions)
  • Minor oral surgery procedures: biopsies, surgical extractions, fraenectomy in teenagers requested by Specialist Orthodontic colleagues, surgical exposures etc. These may be carried out under local anaesthetic, inhalational sedation or general anaesthetic
  • Medically and behaviourally compromised children for a course of dental treatment (not routine  dental reviews and prevention which could be done in PCDS or primary care for the majority of children)
  • Dental anomalies: for example Amelogenesis imperfecta, Dentinogenesis imperfecta, hypodontia
  • Multi-Disciplinary Team Clinics: mainly with orthodontic colleagues, and some restorative and Special Care Dentistry clinics for children transitioning to adult care (Cleft has separate funding and referrals)
  • Management of poor prognosis first permanent molars, referral ideally around the age of 8-9 years, GDP to stabilise and maintain where possible until this age.
  • Dental trauma:
    • Non-emergency management of complex dental trauma in the permanent dentition e.g. definitive root canal treatment for teeth with immature apices (initial extirpation and dressing should be carried out prior to referral when loss of vitality is diagnosed), management of resorption, interdisciplinary planning for teeth of hopeless prognosis etc.
    • Non-emergency management of complex dental trauma in the primary dentition e.g. ankylosed/infraoccluding teeth
  • Complex restorative/ aesthetic  treatment- microabrasion, composite veneers, adhesive bridges, onlays 
  • Assessment and treatment planning for comprehensive care under general anaesthetic in children with additional needs
  • Dental assessment prior to high risk procedures e.g. bone marrow transplant and cardiac surgery, to be referred by the relevant medical or surgical team

Please complete any restorations possible, or at least stabilisation of the dentition before referring for further treatment planning or care, or before requesting GA extraction of teeth that are not restorable.

All patients should continue to have regular diet and hygiene advice in line with the DoH Toolkit, and enhanced professional prevention provided in practice whilst they are waiting to be seen at the dental hospital, and shared care throughout their time receiving specialist treatment in the hospital.

Please continue to provide emergency care to relieve symptoms whilst they are waiting to be seen, and continue to review them for on-going advice, dressings and stabilisation. For example, GIC dressings in MIH cases, and extirpation and dressing of non-vital teeth, dressing carious primary teeth.

Routine restorations in primary teeth should be provided in the primary care setting when possible.   We will not be offering routine restorations of primary teeth, unless patients are needed for the undergraduate course. This will vary depending on demand during each academic year.

Urgent referrals

Please only mark a referral as urgent if there is any of the following:

  • suspected pathology
  • a significant facial/intraoral swelling not responding to antibiotics;
  • prolonged bleeding from the mouth
  • complex dental trauma, please also ring into the department if treatment is time dependant eg-avulsion and luxation, between 9am and 4pm Monday to Friday 

 Outside these hours, the patient should phone 111 or go to their local Emergency Department.

Patient information leaflets

My visit to the Dental Hospital (social story)

Looking after your mouth and teeth

Dental care for children with bleeding disorders

Dental care for children with heart disease

Caring for your mouth after oral surgery

Care of your mouth after treatment for dental trauma

Dental X Rays At Bristol Dental Hospital

Going to sleep to have your teeth out information for children

General anaesthesia at Bristol Dental Hospital information for parents/carers

Advice for children after having dental extractions under general anaesthetic

Inhalation sedation information for children

Inhalation Sedation information For Parents

British Society of Paediatric Dentistry: information about Silver Diamine Fluoride treatment

British Society of Paediatric Dentistry: A practical guide to children's teeth

British Society of Paediatric Dentistry: Advice for parents of children with autism