What services do we offer?

We are always happy to answer any questions you may have. 

It is likely that your child has been referred because they are nervous of accepting dental treatment. We aim to provide care in a relaxed environment, gradually acclimatising your child to dental care. 

Acclimatisation involves a structured treatment plan designed to gently introduce the anxious patient to difficult dental situations. For this reason, it may mean more visits than usual are necessary to complete treatment. 

Once treatment is completed your child will return to your own dentist for care. If there are reasons why you cannot find routine care at a regular dentist, we will provide care for you until you can. 

For the benefit of all children, we share information, where appropriate, about children who do not complete treatment for serious health conditions. 

This information is shared in accordance with the Child Protection policy and procedures of Sussex Community NHS Trust. 

Why has your child been referred?

We provide special care dentistry for those people who are unable to access care elsewhere.  There are a number of reasons why this may be, but could include:   

  • your child has medical problems complicating treatment
  • your child may require care under general anaesthesia or sedation
  • your child is very nervous or phobic
  • your own dentist would like specialist advice
  • your child was unable to cope with dental treatment with their own dentist

If we feel you have been inappropriately referred by your dentist and do not meet the referral criteria for our service, we may need to refer you straight back to your original dentist. 

Dental therapist

Dental therapists are dental care professionals and work as part of the dental team. The dental therapist works under the prescription of a dentist. They can help build your child's confidence at the dentist and provide routine treatment. 


We offer inhalational sedation. This involves your child breathing a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen through a nosepiece. They will not go to sleep, but will feel drowsy and more relaxed. 

To be effective your child must be willing to accept the nosepiece and be able to breathe through their nose. It may not be suitable for very young children. 

We do not offer intravenous (injected) sedation. 

General anaesthesia

This must be carried out in a hospital, which we can arrange for you. This is not a treatment of choice, due to the associated medical risks of the anaesthetic. However, for some children this may be the only way they can accept treatment. 

We do not offer extraction of teeth for orthodontic reasons under general anaesthesia. 

How can you help?

  • prevent tooth decay by reducing the number of sugary snacks and drinks between meals 
  • use a toothpaste containing at least 1450ppm fluoride 
  • brush at least twice a day with a small amount of fluoride toothpaste. Spit out after brushing but do not rinse 
  • try to avoid making your child anxious by avoiding stories and jokes about the dentist from other adults and children 
  • try to show your child that you are not nervous 

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