Read our latest advice on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Our services are open and safe to attend – we are here to help

Dental care with students


More in this section


Our dental scheme offers free routine treatments by undergraduate students. Here's what you can expect and what you'll need to commit to as part of your treatment. Thank you for supporting us to train future dental surgeons.

Coronavirus: dental services update

Due to increased demand on hospital services due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we are making significant changes to our services which may require cancellation and postponement of new and review appointments. Please visit Dental services for more information.


Being assessed for treatment

To find out if your treatment can be done with our dental students, you will need to book an appointment at an assessment clinic. You can arrange this by filling in the referral form and sending it back to the address at the top of the form. This must be during term times:

  • Monday to Thursday beginning at 9.30am or 1.30pm, and
  • Friday beginning at 9.30am or 2pm.

If accepted, you will be allocated a student and be treated in one of our departments. If your dental needs are not suitable for student treatment, you will need to find a local NHS dentist near you

Types of treatment

Treating patients gives dental students the range of experience they need. You may be eligible for treatment if you need:

  • routine fillings
  • simple gum treatment
  • limited crowns
  • dentures
  • root canal fillings.

This service is not suitable if you need multiple crowns and bridges, dental implants, treatment for complex gum problems or re-treatment of root fillings. If your treatment becomes unsuitable for students, for example because it is too complicated, you may be asked to get your future treatment at a dental practice rather than at this hospital.

As the arrangements are different from a normal dental practice, it is important that you are aware of the points below.

  • Giving your time


    Dental students work more slowly than qualified dentists and supervisors must check their work.

    Each appointment is likely to take 3-4 hours and you may need multiple appointments. They may also have to carry out their studies away from the clinic, sometimes for several weeks at a time. This means your course of treatment will take longer than in a normal dental practice, both in terms of the length of each appointment and the total number of appointments required.

  • Your availability


    Because treatment time is longer with dental students, it is very important that you have plenty of time to attend your appointment. You also need to be flexible about the days and times when you can come. If this is difficult for you, it may be better for you to have treatment outside of the Dental Institute.


Please remember to contact us as early as possible if you are unable to make your appointment. Please try to avoid cancellations on the day as this affects the care we are able to deliver to other patients, as well as the quality of training we can give to our undergraduate students.  

We will not offer you another appointment if you do not tell us that you cannot attend. You can let us know by calling 020 7188 7236 or email

If you are more than 20 minutes late for your appointment, you may not be treated.

Who will treat me?

You will be treated by one of our undergraduate students. The dental student treating you will be supervised by a qualified dentist. The students often work in pairs, so you may have a second student assisting with your treatment. You care plan, as well as every stage of your treatment, will be reviewed and agreed by one of our qualified dentists. However, please be aware that this is not a consultant-delivered service. This means that your student’s treatment will not always be reviewed by the same consultant.

Will I be treated by the same student?

Where possible, your entire course of treatment will be undertaken by the same student. However, there are situations where a student may need to transfer your care to another student. This may happen when your care requires a student with more experience, or if the student has to move to a placement in another hospital. When a transfer of care is needed, this will be done under the guidance of a qualified dentist and the student treating you will inform you of the plan.

What happens if my student graduates?

If the student treating you graduates but your treatment plan has not been completed, you will be transferred to another student. If your original treatment plan has been completed but you then need further treatment, you can reapply to be assessed and, if appropriate, be placed back on the waiting list to be allocated to a student.

Emergency dental treatment

Students are not always in the clinics so they may not be able to see you immediately if you develop a dental problem. Because of this, we run an emergency service from Monday to Friday, 8am-4pm, where a number of patients are seen each day.

This service is a walk-in service, but at the moment it is run through NHS 111. If you have a dental emergency, you must ring NHS 111, and you will be assessed over the phone and offered an appointment, if it is appropriate. If you turn up without an appointment, you will not be seen.


  • More about our dental services


    Together with King's College London, our dental services make up King's College London Dental Institute.

    We provide undergraduate and postgraduate training for dental students and to train dental care professionals, such as dental nurses, hygienists and hygiene therapists. Ours is the largest dental school in Europe, and a world leader in dental research. One fifth of all UK-educated dentists train with us.

    We also provide a wide range of general and specialist clinical NHS services. Adult dental services are based at Guy's Hospital. The children's dentistry department is based at The Dental Centre, St Thomas' Hospital. We also treat inpatients at Evelina London Children's Hospital. For more information about our children's services, visit the Evelina London website.


Ref number: 2397/VER6

Date published: April 2018 | Review date: April 2021

© 2020 Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust

A list of sources is available on request


Where next?

 Contact us

If you have questions about your appointment or the waiting list you have been placed on, please contact the dental undergraduate appointments centre.

Email: gst-tr.under

Tel: 020 7188 7236

Printable PDF

Download Your dental care by dental students (PDF 119Kb)

PIF TICK logo - trusted health information

Was this helpful?

If you have any comments about this information, we would be happy to hear from you. Fill in our simple online form or email:


Our information is changing

Find out how we are making our patient information more accessible and inclusive.