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Drug Prescribing For Dentistry

Published January 2016 (3rd Edition)

Latest update published June 2021 (see below).


An accessible version (Word) of the guidance is available.

Drug Prescribing for Dentistry Website 

The Drug Prescribing for Dentistry guidance is also available for users in the UK as a website (URL: This was launched in January 2023 and replaces the Dental Prescribing smartphone app. The Drug Prescribing for Dentistry website provides the same content as the app with similar functionality and has the advantage that it can be viewed on any mobile device or desktop computer.  Being a website, accessing content requires an internet connection.  

You can create a shortcut on your mobile device home screen to provide quick access to the website. 

The website should be used instead of the Dental Prescribing app, which is no longer supported or updated and should be deleted from all devices. The Drug Prescribing for Dentistry website has been developed with NES Technology Service.  


Following the agreement that, due to supply and shelf life issues, the injection formulation of midazolam will replace Midazolam Oromucosal Solution in emergency dental kits, NHS Education for Scotland (NES) have prepared a training video to enable dental teams to familiarise themselves with the buccal administration of the injection solution. This can be accessed on TURAS Learn at Emergency treatment of a prolonged epileptic seizure using buccally administered 10mg in 2ml Midazolam using an oral syringe | Turas | Learn (

An update to the guidance, including information on changes to the latest edition of the British National Formulary (BNF 81), was released in June 2021 (see under Downloads above). An update to the Dental Prescribing app was also released in June 2021.

Supporting Tools

An additional document which provides details of the contraindications and cautions which should be taken into account when prescribing analgesics or antibiotics in dental practice is now available (see under Downloads above). Much of the content was originally developed as part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic but is now provided as a supplement to the SDCEP Drug Prescribing For Dentistry guidance.

Other supporting tools are available to download below.

About this guidance

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, 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 in this third edition of the guidance is based on BNF 70 and BNFC 2015-16. Advice on drugs used to manage medical emergencies is also provided, based on information provided in BNF 70 and BNFC 2015-16, and guidance published by the National Dental Advisory Committee (NDAC) in 2015. The third edition also includes more comprehensive information on drug interactions and a bacterial infections management guide.

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.

Guidance development

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. This second and third editions of the guidance were also subject to peer review before publication. Further information about the SDCEP guidance development process is available.

SDCEP acknowledges the important contribution of all those who commented during the consultation and peer review stages.

Review and updating

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, the Programme Development Team will monitor significant changes within the BNF and BNFC and provide relevant updates on this website.

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