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Clinical philosophy

The clinical philosophy of dental contract reform is the need to change the focus of dental service provision from the delivery of treatment, to disease prevention.

Listen to a recording of a webinar which provides information regarding the clinical philosophy and care pathway approach for prototype practices.

The care pathway

The intention is for a practice to take a patient on a journey, referred to as the care pathway. 

The patient will receive clinically necessary treatment, but a clinician or oral health educator will also encourage them to:

  • take responsibility for their oral health
  • participate daily in their own care to minimise the occurrence of disease 

It’s recognised that it takes time to support a patient to:

  • make the most effective change in their oral health
  • follow preventive advice to minimise formal interventions

This change to service delivery is in line with the changes that are being introduced to the wider National Health Service.

You can find out more information about the care pathway approach in the factsheet on care pathway approach.

Underpinning the philosophy

We've prepared a presentation to provide more detail about the underpinning philosophy of dental contract reform being tested:

This presentation has been prepared to allow the contract holder or practice manager to deliver the presentation to the practice dental team.

Dental Quality and Outcomes Framework (DQOF)

The Dental Quality and Outcomes Framework provides a measure of the quality of services provided by the practice.

We've prepared a presentation to explain the clinical rationale behind DQOF:


NICE guidance is available.

Information on Delivering Better Oral Health (DBOH).