The Derriford, Devonport, Exeter and Truro Dental Education Facilities are NHS training clinics for dental profession students from Plymouth University, including dentists, dental nurses, hygienists and therapists, and postgraduate students on special courses such as restorative dentistry.
The service is provided by students in training who are supervised by highly experienced dentists. This means that all care and advice provided by the students is free of charge to all patients.
Dental treatment is provided within an educational setting, and so the examinations, treatment and oral hygiene care may take longer to complete than usual. Sufficient time for treatment is always allocated to ensure you receive the highest quality of patient care.
Most of the treatments provided in any NHS general dental practice are available.
- Dental check-ups, oral examination (including Xrays) and diagnosis.
- Advice for preventing tooth decay and gum disease including tooth brushing and oral hygiene instruction, dietary advice and the application of sealants that protect the surfaces of teeth
- Assessment and treatment of gum disease
- Fillings and extractions
- Crowns and bridges
- Minor oral surgery
- Dentures (Full and Partial)
If certain types of treatment cannot be provided by the students, you will be given advice about how to arrange the treatment that has been recommended.
Please note – for any further treatment provided by an NHS dentist outside of the Education Facility the usual NHS patient charges for dentistry will apply (unless you qualify for free NHS dental treatment). If you choose to go to a private dentist or private consultant, then private charges will apply.
Anyone can apply to be a patient with us, but there are criteria to consider:
- Patients should require treatment that is not beyond the capabilities of an Undergraduate Dental Student
- You need to be sure that you can attend your appointments on a regular basis Monday to Friday
- You may need to have the flexibility to travel between two facilities for treatment
- You may receive treatment from more than one student
- You must accept that treatments could take longer than a normal dental practice
- We offer one course of treatment and will then help you to access an NHS dentist.
Once your triage assessment has been completed we will inform you there and then if you would make a suitable patient for one of our undergraduate dental students, we will then arrange to contact you when we can offer you a full assessment appointment with a dental student to discuss, and start a treatment plan for you.
Occasionally, because we are a teaching facility and it is important for our students to experience a broad spectrum of patient types, we may advertise for specific sorts of patients (such as children or those with dentures).
Keep an eye on this website and in local media for these opportunities.
We operate a waiting list like any other dental facility or General Dental Practice so your first step is to place your name on our list when it is open. Occasionally the list has to be closed due to the large number of people already waiting.
Once you have placed your name on the waiting list you will be invited at a later date to attend a short triage assessment appointment with one of our qualified dentist who will be able to assess your suitability as a patient with one of our undergraduate dental students.
We hold paediatric clinics at all our Education Facilities.
Appointments for children between the ages of 0 and 13 are always given priority and can be made by calling 0345 1558109.
Please note: If you are bringing more than one child for an appointment we would ask that wherever possible, there is one adult to accompany each child.
The clinic is open by appointment only between the hours of 08.45am – 4.30pm, Monday to Friday in term time.
Appointment times are structured around the students’ university rota and are 09.15 – 10.45 and 13.15 – 14.30
Please telephone 0345 1558109 to arrange an appointment during these working hours. If you wish to leave a message out of hours, please do so and we will call you back when a member of staff is available.
We operate a waiting list so you may be asked to leave your details so we can contact you when an assessment appointment becomes available. If you prefer to be transferred to the NHS waiting list we can advise how to do that.
Not everyone will find our service suitable for their dental treatment, because we are not able to guarantee fixed appointment times and set days as the students work to a university rota, which may be changed at short notice.
There may be occasions when we have to refer your treatment to a different student depending on timetables and this could mean that, if you are a Plymouth patient, we may occasionally have to ask you to consider travelling to either of our two dental facilities at Devonport and Derriford. Please consider these points carefully if you decide to have treatment with us.
If you are unable to keep your appointment please let us know as soon as possible. We do operate a fail to attend policy which may result in PDSE being unable to continue providing treatment if appointments are missed.
It is extremely important for the dental students training requirements that you attend your appointments on a regular and consistent basis.
Please see our policy on patient failure to attend and short notice cancellations here:
PDSE Failure to Attend and Short Notice Cancellation Policy
If you are currently under the care of a Dental Education Facility and require an urgent or emergency appointment you should telephone us on 0345 1558109 as early as possible to arrange an appointment.
Please note: Emergency appointments can only be booked on the day and not in advance.
If you are currently under the care of the Dental Education Facilities and require an urgent or emergency appointment out of term time you should call the following numbers:
Plymouth – Dental Access Centre on 01752 434664
Truro – Peninsula Community Health on 0333 405 0290
Exeter – Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital on 01392 405700
Please let them know that you are a patient of the Dental Education Facility.
Monday – Thursday 7.30pm – 8.45am
Friday – Monday 6.00pm – 8.45am
If you require urgent appointment during the evening or weekend the please contact the following numbers:
For the Devon area call 01392 823682
For the Cornwall area call 01872354375
Patients without a regular NHS dentist who are in pain can get advice by telephoning:
- Devon Doctors on Call on 01392 823682
- NHS Choices 111 or visit NHS Choices
We try and ensure that all of our patients are pleased with their experience of our service. We take any concerns a patient may have very seriously.
So if you have an issue you wish to raise regarding any aspect of your care, please let us know.