Guidance on the management of acute dental problems from SDCEP

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The Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP) has recently launched guidance for the management of patients with acute dental problems.

The scope of the guidance is to:-

  • Encourage a consistent approach to the management of acute dental problems to reduce avoidable variation in practice
  • Improve the quality of unscheduled clinical care for patients with acute dental problems
  • Provide a standard for the initial management of presenting symptoms for patients with 
acute dental problems
  • Ensure patients receive appropriate advice about subsequent care and/or referral to appropriate treatment providers, if applicable.

The guidance is freely available on-line from the SDCEP website and comes if three formats:

  1. The full guidance document
  2. An interactive electronic version of the guidance flowcharts
  3. A quick reference guide.


Dental problems may present to health care professionals other than dentists and one of the aims of this guidance is to assist them in supporting and or directing the patient appropriately so the problem can be addressed.  While this is dental guidance the prime audience for this guidance is probably not the dentist. Although they may find the A-Z section in the web app and the individual topic sections of the full guidance a helpful update on approaches to managing these acute problems.

The web application has been developed for use in a current versions of the Firefox, Chrome Safari and Internet Explorer 9 or later and will also display in browsers on smartphones and tablets.

Note :- The Dental Elf  was a member of the guidance development group.


SDCEP management of acute dental problems web page

Management of acute dental problems – web app






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