Restorative Dentistry

Restorative dentistry is a specialty involved in diagnosing and management of diseases in the oral cavity. It includes rehabilitation of the oral cavity, often with a multi-professional approach to improve patient’s function, psychological requirements and aesthetic requirements.

Our service also provides specialist advice and treatment on prosthodontic (crowns, bridges, dentures and dental implants), endodontic (root canal treatment) and periodontic (gum) problems.

The main role of the service is to work closely with our Maxillo Facial Surgery and Orthodontic colleagues to manage patients with head and neck cancer; cleft lip and palate; patients with developmentally missing teeth and trauma patients. We provide both specialist advice and complex treatment needed. 

We manage the following:

  • Oral rehabilitation of patients with missing teeth with dental implants, bridges and dentures

  • Reshaping and restoration of teeth using restorations and crowns

  • Root canal treatment of teeth with complex anatomy and failing treatments 

  • Management of aggressive periodontal disease with non-surgical and surgical treatments

  • Management of (mucogingival) gum defects with surgery

  • Management of jaw problems and uneven occlusions

  • Dental advice for patients having radiotherapy and chemotherapy for head and neck cancer

The service only provides advice and occasional treatment for complex restorative patients referred by dental practitioners and occasional general medical practitioners. The service follows strict criteria, agreed with the local NHS Commissioners to eligible patients. 

The department's specialties include the following:

  • Fixed and removable prosthodontics- prosthetic replacement of hard and soft tissues using crowns, bridges, dentures and implants. Provided for post-cancer/radiotherapy patients, management of cleft lip and palate defects, hypodontia (congenitally missing teeth) and treatment of severe tooth wear.

  • Periodontlogy- severe gum disease management, bone and soft tissue grafting around teeth and dental implants, and drug-induced gingival overgrowth.

  • Endodontics- injuries to and diseases of the root canal pulp chamber and peri-radicular region managed with root canal treatment or surgical management 

Information for referring practitioners: 

Referrals from local dentists and/or medical professionals are accepted via Vantage Rego. Once the patient is accepted for a new patient consultation via the triage process, they will undergo a full and comprehensive restorative assessment at William Harvey Hospital, this may include further radiographs (if needed), and a comprehensive treatment plan.

All patients undergoing treatment within the Restorative department will be seen either at William Harvey Hospital or at Kent and Canterbury Hospital depending on what condition the patient has and who they need to see for treatment. Following the consultation appointment, a detailed report and treatment plan will be sent back to the referring clinician (and a copy to the patient). We may accept the patient for a course of treatment within the department. This treatment will be carried out by a Restorative Consultant or a member of their team working under the Consultant’s supervision. We expect patients to continue to see their local dentist for routine dental check-ups during their care within our department. This is based on the NHS shared cared model of patient care.

Please note; we cannot accept patients for treatment until all primary dental disease (caries and periodontal disease) has been stabilized. For Periodontal referrals, we can only accept referrals after the Primary care Dentist has completed 2 courses of non-surgical periodontal treatment under local anaesthesia (for all pockets ≥ 4mm) and the patient has good oral hygiene with plaque scores < 20%.

Please see the guidance for referring dental practitioners on Restorative complexity case acceptance at William Harvey Hospital.