Special Care Dentistry.

Special Care Dentistry provides preventive and treatment oral care services for people who are unable to accept routine dental care because of some physical, intellectual, medical, emotional, sensory, mental or social impairment, or a combination of these factors. 
Special Care Dentistry is concerned with the improvement of oral health of individuals and groups in society who fall within these categories. It requires a holistic approach that is specialist led in order to meet the complex requirements of people with impairments. 

Specialists in this field of dentistry take a very holistic approach and work very closely with other professionals, in order to serve the individual’s needs and provide the best patient care.

Health Education England working across Yorkshire and the Humber is delighted to offer training in Special Care Dentistry across two areas: North/West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire.

Trainees experience a wide range of clinical environments, from domiciliary care to the surgical theatre. Special Care professionals can work alongside teams dealing with patients about to receive chemotherapy, and liaise with Restorative Consultants, Orthodontic Consultants, Paediatric Consultants and the Prison Service.

"We provide a challenging and exciting environment for those professionals who wish to extend the boundaries of patient care. Dealing with complex situations and providing holistic care requires dedication and a large dose of common sense. In my view, some life experience and excellent dental skills are very helpful for anyone embarking on a career in Special Care Dentistry."


Training Programme Director

Ms Jodie Bustin 

ARCP Dates

March 2021 - Document Lockdown 4 February 2021

September 2021 - Document Lockdown 23 August 2021

Timeline for ARCP

ARCP Checklist

Curriculum and Training

The Sheffield Programme

In Sheffield we are responsible for the delivery of training to 2 specialty registrars in special care dentistry. The trainees are based in Sheffield and are employed by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

We work in close collaboration with our colleagues in the Leeds programme, sharing training and teaching opportunities and are active, enthusiastic participants in the Northern Study Group in Special Care Dentistry.

Special care dentistry specialty training in Sheffield is characterised by a friendly, inclusive approach. Our strengths include the breadth and depth of experience of our specialist clinical trainers, their extensive links with both local and national networks via the Royal Colleges and Specialist Societies, together with the strong links to other medical and dental specialties via the University Of Sheffield, School Of Clinical Dentistry, and other local healthcare Trusts. In addition we work closely with charitable and voluntary groups to ensure services are delivered with a holistic, patient centred approach.

Special care dentistry has a broad curriculum, and training is delivered by a combination of didactic teaching together with clinical attachments both within primary and secondary care. Trainees have the opportunity to treat patients with inhalation, oral and intravenous sedation, hypnosis, acupuncture and to develop competencies in behaviour therapy. They will deliver treatment in a variety of clinical situations, including on domiciliary visits to patient houses, nursing homes, spinal injury unit, mental health units, homeless projects, and prisons or secure units, special schools, and specialist Consultant clinics. They will have a number of short attachments to other specialty medical clinics, together with the in-patient day case comprehensive special care dental list They work closely with our management teams to gain competencies in commissioning and delivering high quality services in an efficient cost effective way for patent benefit. The Oral Health Promotion Team work closely with the trainees to develop strategies and patient information to promote excellent oral health within special care groups

Trainees electronically record evidence and outcomes of training, clinical portfolio, learning agreements and professional development in a secure electronic format, (Intercollegiate Surgical Curriculum Programme ISCP) which is shared with their clinical and educational supervisors and Training Programme Director. Progression through training is assessed annually at the Annual Record Of Competence Progression (ARCP) meeting with HEE YH, TPD and an SAC RCS(Eng) representative.

Trainees are encouraged to complete the Diploma in Special Care Dentistry RCS (ENG), a self directed distance learning programme assessed by written assignments, clinical portfolio and examination. and benefit from a generous study leave allocation and budget to support this.

Near the end of training the trainees will sit the tricollegiate Membership in Special Care Dentistry MSpec Care Dent and upon satisfactory completion of this and the HEYH training programme will eligible to register as Specialists in Special Care Dentistry.

The Intercollegiate Surgical Curriculum Programme Website

This site houses the curriculum for the dental specialties and, in a secure area, trainees’ electronic portfolios and the learning agreements which support training.

All trainees will eventually use the e-portfolio but this will be done on a rolling programme by specialty. Consultants and other professionals who will be training, assessing and supervising training will also need to register. 



Useful Links

View the Specialty Training Curriculum for Special Care Dentistry.


User guides for ISCP are available here

SAC SCD curriculum


Diploma in Special Care Dentistry DSCD RCS(Eng)

Membership in Special Care Dentistry MSpec Care Dent


The Sheffield Programme

Trainees are encouraged to complete module DEN601 Research Methods in Clinical Dentistry (15 credits) delivered by the University of Sheffield. The unit aims to introduce students to patient-centred research methods and includes evidence-based dentistry, critical appraisal, research governance and ethics, quantitative and qualitative research methods, statistical appraisal of research reports

In addition trainees are encouraged to engage with appropriate existing research projects within the University of Sheffield, School of Clinical Dentistry and in the development of primary care research within special care dentistry 


"I am currently in my second year of training and have enjoyed the variety that this post has provided.  Training within a large team of Consultants and Specialists in Special Care Dentistry, each with their own interests in the field, has enabled me to gain both the knowledge and practical experiences required to develop a career in Special Care Dentistry.  In addition to providing the necessary elements of the curriculum this post has also encourage me to broaden my outlook on the ways of delivering Special Care Dentistry to individuals and groups in society."

Sheffield StR