Drug Prescribing For Dentistry

Second Edition, published August 2011

Latest Update - September 2014 (see below)

The second edition of 'Drug Prescribing For Dentistry' can be downloaded in pdf form.


This guidance is also available as an app, Dental Prescribing, for use on iPhone®, iPad® or iPod touch®


National Pre-approved Antibiotic Prescribing Audit - now available


September 2014

BNF 67, published in March 2014, BNFC 2014-15, published in June 2014, and BNF 68, published in September 2014, contain changes that are relevant to primary care dental practice, including an increase to the recommended dose of amoxicillin for adults and children. These are included in the September 2014 update, which is available to download here.

Please note that the previously published August 2014 update contained minor errors and therefore has been withdrawn. It is superseded by the September 2014 update. 

The September 2014 update is a supplement to the November 2013 update, which is available to download here. Both updates are required to ensure you have access to the most up-to-date advice.

The updates can be stored in the pocket at the rear of your copy of the guidance booklet. Alternatively, the amended drug regimen boxes can be pasted into the booklet at the relevant section.


Dental prescribing within the NHS is restricted to drugs included in the Dental Practitioner's Formulary, which is incorporated within the 'British National Formulary' (BNF) and 'BNF for Children' (BNFC). To facilitate easy access to information that is most relevant to primary care dental practice, the SDCEP guidance 'Drug Prescribing For Dentistry' brings together advice on dental prescribing from the BNF and BNFC and presents it in a problem-orientated style. The information on drug prescribing contained in the second edition of the guidance is based on BNF 61 and BNFC 2011. Advice on drugs used to manage medical emergencies is also provided, based on information provided in BNF 61 and BNFC 2011, and guidance published by the Resuscitation Council (UK).

The guidance is suitable for informing dental practitioners in the primary care sector, and applies to all patients, including adults, children and those with special needs, who would normally be treated in this sector. The guidance does not include advice on prescribing for those in a secondary care environment or for practitioners with special expertise who may prescribe a wider range of drugs. The intention is for the guidance to be used in conjunction with the BNF and BNFC.

'Drug Prescribing For Dentistry' has been developed by a small group of professionals with particular interest and experience in dental prescribing, assisted by our Programme Development Team. The first edition (published in 2008) was subject to widespread consultation and peer review before finalisation of the content for publication. The second edition of the guidance was also subject to peer review before publication. For further information about the development of this guidance, please contact the SDCEP office (scottishdental.cep@nes.scot.nhs.uk).

A review of all aspects of the context of this guidance (regulations, legislation, trends in working practices and evidence) will take place three years after publication and, if this has changed significantly, the guidance will be updated accordingly. In the interim, SDCEP will monitor significant changes within the BNF and BNFC and provide relevant updates on this website. 

Guidance Development Group  

Name Details

Prof. David Wray (Chair)

Professor of Oral Medicine, University of Glasgow Dental Hospital and School.

Mr Eric W. Battison

Dental Practice Advisor, Lothian.

Mr Tony Coia

General Dental Practitioner, Glasgow.

Dr Alex Crighton

Consultant in Oral Medicine, Glasgow Dental Hospital and School; member of the Scottish Antimicrobial Prescribing Group.

Dr M. Petrina Sweeney

Senior Lecturer/Honorary Consultant in Special Care Dentistry, University of Glasgow Dental School.

Page last edited: 05 February 2015