Referral Process

Restorative Dentistry /Prosthodontics

General Dental Practitioners, Specialists, Health Board Dentists can refer patients directly to the departments of Restorative Dentistry and Periodontology for restorative / prosthodontic treatment.

Information Required at Referral:

Link to proforma letter (attached)

Waiting Times:

There is a pre-assessment referral screening by a consultant and may be assigned to:

  1. An undergraduate dental clinic
  2. A postgraduate prosthodontic clinic
  3. A consultant assessment clinic

Acceptance Criteria

  1. Suitable for undergraduate dental students: routine restorative treatment under local anaesthetic. The agreed treatment plan must be capable of being completed in one academic year. Patient must be able to attend on student schedule and commit to any costs involved. The waiting lists are stratified by undergraduate dental year.
  2. Patients unsuitable for undergraduate dental students include: treatments that are too complex, too extensive, or patient management is beyond the scope of undergraduate dental clinics.
  3. Postgraduate prosthodontic: waiting time must be less than 1 year. Must meet educational needs of students, be motivated, able to commit to extensive treatment and assume any costs involved.
  4. Non Consultant Hospital Dentists: Treatment can be completed within a short period (6 visits or fewer). Includes acrylic night splints or certain prostheses. A staff member must be available to provide treatment.
  5. Consultant: Patient has prosthodontic needs requiring secondary/interdisciplinary care, that cannot be provided by postgraduates, or other staff due to complexity.

Capacity for New Patients

The current capacity is for 19 new patients per week.


General Dental Practitioners & Specialists, Health Board Dentists, General Medical Practitioners and Consultants can refer patients directly to the Department of Restorative Dentistry and Periodontology for advice regarding periodontal therapy.

Acceptance Criteria

Patients with all aspects of periodontal care are accepted for assessment.
The number of patients accepted for treatment will depend on teaching need. This will also dictate the disease categories accepted for treatment – gingivitis, periodontitis of varying severity and mucogingival defects.
Following assessment, a letter will be sent to the referring clinician with details of planned treatment. The patient will either be placed on a hospital treatment list or referred back to the general dental practitioner for provision of care.

Information Required at Referral:

In order to formulate a suitable treatment plan tailored to the patients’ individual requirements adequate information must be supplied by the referrer. A good letter of referral is vital for:

  1. Successful treatment planning.
  2. Ongoing communication between the dentist, the periodontist and the patient during the maintenance phase.
  3. Efficient allocation of appointments and reduced waiting period.

When referring patients for periodontal treatment please use the pro forma check list below, developed as a guide to referring practitioners.
Link to proforma letter (attached)

Waiting Times:

Waiting times will depend on the number of referrals received. All referral letters are screened by a senior staff member in Periodontics and assigned for assessment to:

  1. Undergraduate clinic – three assessments clinics yearly
  2. Postgraduate clinic – one assessment clinic monthly
  3. Consultant clinic – one assessment clinic monthly

Capacity for New Patients:

  • All patient assessment and treatment planning is under the supervision of senior staff members.
  • The patients referred to the undergraduate clinics are usually accepted by the student for treatment. Approximately 120 new patients are examined each year.
  • The monthly postgraduate and consultant clinics assess 10 to 12 patients. Patients are assigned for treatment to undergraduates (dental and dental hygiene), postgraduates, NCHD or staff dental hygienist. If not suitable for treatment in the Dublin Dental School & Hospital, the individual is referred back to the referring clinician with a suggested treatment plan.
  • All patients will be referred back to their own general dental practitioner following treatment.

Endodontic Clinic

Acceptance Criteria

Primary Care (for undergraduate dental students only)

  • Non-surgical root canal treatment (RCT) cases for single and multi-rooted teeth.
    • There is a particular shortage of single rooted teeth requiring root canal treatment, a skill essential in undergraduate training.
    • Generally root canal retreatment is not suitable for undergraduate care.

Secondary Care (for senior and junior staff)

  • Non-surgical de novo RCT cases only if compelling medical/other reason for specialist/staff treatment
    • Advanced Sclerosis
    • Tooth Anomalies (e.g. dens en dente)
    • Medical/other reason
  • Non-surgical endodontic retreatment and other cases including perforation repair, instrument or post removal.
  • Surgical root canal treatment including de novo, surgical retreatment and curettage.
  • Other endodontic surgical including root resection/amputation/ perforation repair/ root resorption.
  • Immature apex apexification, apexogenesis and root end closure
  • Vital pulp treatment pulpotomy, partial pulpotomy and revitalization


  • If the patient has complex prosthodontic needs that require secondary or interdisciplinary care; at present we are limited in capacity to accept these patients.
  • All patients will be referred back to their own general dental practitioner following treatment for restoration

Tertiary Care

  • Trauma
  • Other advanced resorption, selected endodontic surgery (as part of joint procedure with Paediatric Dentistry or Periodontology).

  • Combined cases with Implantology/Oral Surgery

Information Required at Referral:

Proforma letter

Waiting Times:

All letters are appointed by the consultant involved upon receipt.

Capacity for New Patients:

There is one consultant and one specialist in this area. The current capacity is up to 10 new patients per week (350-400 new patients per year).