The Thames Valley service operates a face to face triage system – in some cases you will be asked to attend a short appointment with a Consultant in Restorative Dentistry who will assess your treatment needs and determine the best provider for you.
On the tabs below you can learn more about the system and how it works to secure you the best care possible.
The Thames Valley restorative pathway was designed to reflect the lack of secondary care (hospital) service provision for restorative care and is linked to the developing pathway process advocated by NHS in Wales.
- My Referral
- Tracking and Waits
- Patient Leaflet
Restorative dentistry is a speciality of dentistry recognised by the General Dental Council. It encompasses three individual specialities – endodontics (root filling of teeth), periodontology (gum treatments) and prosthodontics (dentures, bridges and crowns). Dentists can be specialists in one of these areas, or, in all three. Those individuals who have qualified in all three areas often work at Consultants in large hospitals.
Those who have specialised in one of the areas are known as Specialists and will be registered by the GDC as such. These dentists tend to work in primary care, or high street dentistry, either within the NHS or privately.
Your dentist has referred your because they believe that you require specialist level care that is not available within general services. Your dentist will have carefully explained the reason for the referral to you and should also have provided you with an information sheet that provides further information as well as a tracking number so that you can follow the progress of your referral through the management system, click here to track your referral. There are also telephone numbers to contact us on.
On these pages you can find out more about restorative dentistry, the referral process and what happens next to your referral.
What happens in Oxford, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire to Restorative Referrals?
If your dentist has decided to refer you for a restorative procedure there are a few things you need to know. When your dentist sends in your referral it will have a unique reference number – this allows us, and you, to track its progress through the system. Referrals from Oxford and Buckinghamshire have three letters, THV (Thames Valley), followed by seven digits. For example THV0000123. Your dentist will give you a leaflet when you are referred – make sure that they have written the URN on the front for you.
When the referral arrives
Your referral will be checked to make sure that all the required information is present – at this stage we may have to go back to your dentist to ask for more information. Once everything is ready we will pass the referral on to a Consultant in Restorative Dentistry. They will assess the referral against a number of criteria.
What can happen next?
There are a few things that can happen next to your referral:
a) It might be returned – this happens when the treatment requested is not funded by the NHS (for example a single tooth implant) or if the Consultant believes the treatment is not appropriate or evidence based (for example extensive gum surgery in heavy smokers). If this happens we will write to your dentist explaining why and provide other treatment options – they will contact you to discuss the next stages.
b) Your referral might be sent to a hospital – this happens when the treatment requested is either extremely complex and requires a multi-disciplinary team, or if you have a very complicated medical history that requires hospital support.
c) We may contact you to arrange an assessment visit – This is an appointment with one of Consultants in Restorative Dentistry. They will assess your referral with you and may take x rays or undertake other tests. Following this visit the Consultant may develop a treatment plan for your dentist to undertake, they may send your referral onto hospital or they may make arrangements to see a high street (primary care) specialist. Please make sure that your dentist has your correct contact details – we will call you by telephone to make arrangements.
Your appointment will be at one of our three centres and we offer evening and weekend appointments (simply click on title to be taken to more detail information including maps and directions)
Aylesbury Referral Centre
39 Buckingham Road
Twyford Referral Centre
3 Church Street
Oxford Referral Centre
26 Temple Street
Tracking your referral
We know that you want to be kept informed about your referral. We offer a unique way of finding out more about the status of your referral. Just use the URN that was written on your referral leaflet; i.e. THV0000123. Click here to be taken to the referral tracking system – simply enter in all the letters and numbers – with no spaces, and you can see the information related to your referral.
We expect to process referrals within two working days of receipt from your dentist. If we need more information from your dentist this may take longer. We aim to contact you by telephone shortly afterwards and you will receive the offer of an appointment with our Specialist in Restorative Dentistry. We will try and contact you by phone on two occasions and then by letter. If we don’t hear from you we will return your referral to your dentist.
If you need a face to face appointment we aim to offer you an appointment within 8 weeks of a correctly completed referral being received by us.
We have a range of information for patients.
General Patient Information Leaflet – this provides a general overview of referrals in dentistry
Thames Valley (THV) Patient Information Leaflet– this provides specific information on the restorative referral pathway within the Thames Valley area. You should be given a copy of this leaflet by your dentist when you are referred.
This website also contains lots of information on dental treatment, specialists and the services available in your area. You can also find contact details if you have any questions.
When considering advanced restorative care its important to realise that there are strict eligibility criteria – not every referral is accepted. For example, in order to be accepted for advanced care of any type you:
- Must be motivated for treatment and accept that care may involve multiple appointments
- Must be able to keep your teeth and gums clean
- Must have discussed option with your dentist and have considered all the options
For some types of specialist care – for example root treatments on back (molar) teeth, there are requirements that treating the tooth will lead to a health benefit. Your dentist will be able to explain more about this.