The Children's Dental Service is a dedicated service for pre-school and school age children with particular needs. It provides dental and orthodontic treatment for children who are eligible and is based at Princess Elizabeth Hospital.
The service focuses on prevention and early intervention and often works with other health care professionals to help promote oral health messages. Please see the leaflets in the downloads section for general advice.
*As of January 2022, all children under the age of 18 years are eligible for one free dental check up each year with their private dentist. This does not affect those who are eligible to see us for routine care; please see below for those who can book in for a check up in our department.*
What Services Do We Provide?
- A full range of dental treatment (including orthodontic treatment) is available for those eligible to use the service.
- Guernsey Super Smiles, a pre-school tooth brushing programme we introduced in 2014, is undertaken in a number of pre-schools and nurseries.
- The Oral Health Educator and Specialist Dental Nurses provide oral health promotion activities in schools and to other targeted groups including preschools and Young Mum's.
- The service undertakes epidemiological surveys so that there is up to date information on the dental health of the children on the island.
- Getting your child used to going to the dentist from a young age is very important and it's recommended that all children should visit the family dentist before their first birthday.
- Your family dentist can advice on any dental issues. However, any parent, whether their child meets the eligibility criteria or not, or Group Leader who would like input from the dental team, is welcome to telephone the Children's Dental Service for advice (tel. 01481 227427).
- Please see the Download section to the right of this page for information pages put together by the department. For a quick summary of oral hygiene for children, the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry has recently released these videos; https://bit.ly/2yhANfT. Please remember they are relevant to NHS patients so references about free dental care are not applicable to all children in Guernsey.
Who Can Access Dental Care Through The CDS?
- Children up to their 18th Birthday attending special needs schools - This includes Le Rondin, Le Murier, and Les Voies and those attending the Base Units at St Sampson, Forest and La Mare De Carteret Schools. Parents or carers of these children may contact the department direct.
- Looked after children up to their 18th Birthday - Carers and foster parents may contact the department direct.
- Families in receipt of Income Support - Children up to their 12th birthday whose parents are in receipt of income support. Parents will need to get an e-mail from the Social Security Department sent to the Children's Dental Service confirming that they are in receipt of benefit, or entitled to treatment via the Medical Expenses Assistance Scheme (MEAS) before booking an appointment.
- Children up to their 12th birthday with any active dental decay into dentine or acute gum problems can be referred to the service for a single course of treatment to restore their dental health - Parents or carers will need to get a referral sent to the Children's Dental Service by their dentist or a suitable health professional before an appointment can be booked.
- Children up to their 12th birthday suffering from a medical condition where specific input from dental practitioners experienced in dealing with children is required - Parents or carers will need to get a referral sent to the Children's Dental Service by their dentist or a suitable health practitioner before an appointment can be booked.
- School Trauma - If a child up to their 12th birthday sustains trauma whilst at school and during the normal school hours they can be seen for emergency care. This referral has to be made within 24 hours and by the school.
- Children are accepted for Orthodontic treatment up to their 15th birthday providing they have an Orthodontic Treatment Need (IOTN) Dental Health Component 5. (Your family dentist can explain this for you). In addition they must visit their family dentist for routine examinations at least one every 6 months and have excellent oral health and hygiene. The CDS will not routinely provide other aspects of dental care for these children unless they are specifically entitled to it
- If you are having orthodontic treatment with the department, please see information sheet 7. Orthodontic Advice under Downloads or visit https://www.bos.org.uk/Public-Patients/Patient-Information-Leaflets for further information
- Children who are eligible to use the service can call to book an emergency appointment if they have toothache, severe bleeding, dental trauma or swellings. Please call us at 8am as emergency appointments are booked on a first come, first serve basis.
- Children who are not eligible to use are service will need to contact their registered dentist for an emergency appointment. Your dentist may then be able to send a referral if it is appropriate but there may be a wait associated.
- Children receiving orthodontic treatment in the department can call for advice and book an unscheduled appointment if needed. Please note that there will be no orthodontist in the department on Mondays so if you are seen by a dentist you may need to book an additional appointment with your orthodontist.
- Out of hour emergencies; If you do not have a registered dentist and experience trauma, swelling or severe bleeding outside our usual working hours, you can call the Island Emergency Dentist via the hospital switchboard. There will be a charge for call outs and treatment which will not be covered by the Children's Dental Service. Please be aware that toothache (minus the symptoms listed above) and orthodontic problems are generally not considered an emergency so you may still be advised to call us back during normal working hours.
Free annual dental check-ups for children
- All children resident in Guernsey, Herm and Alderney are entitled to one free dental check-up per year up to their 18th birthday.
- The free check-ups can be booked with local dentists. Those booking the check-ups are asked to say that they are booking the 'States' annual dental check-up' and provide the social insurance number for their child, which starts with the letters 'GY'.
- Special needs children, Looked After Children and families in receipt of income support may still access their check-up through the Children's Dental Service.