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Your spotlight on local services

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How to find an NHS dentist

Everyone should be able to access good quality NHS dental services. When registering with a dentist, you are not bound to a catchment area, so you can simply find a dental practice that's convenient for you, whether it's near your home or work.

Dental practices don't always have the capacity to take on new NHS patients- you may have to join a waiting list, look for an alternative practice that is taking on new NHS patients, or be seen privately.

Once you find a dental practice, you may have to fill in a registration form at your first visit, which is purely to add you to their patient database. 

If you experience any issues

If after contacting several dental practices you still cannot find a dentist who is accepting NHS patients, you should call NHS England's Customer Contact Centre on 0300 311 2233.

NHS England commissions dental services in England and is required to meet the needs of their local populations for both urgent and routine dental care. 

Dental emergency and out-of-hours care

If you think you need urgent care, contact your usual dentist as some practices offer emergency dental slots and will provide care if clinically necessary. You can also call NHS 111, who can put you in touch with an urgent dental service. 

Please note: Do NOT contact your GP, as they will not be able to offer urgent or emergency dental care. 

How much will it cost?

The emergency dentist will only deal with the problem at hand and provide clinically necessary treatment to stop any pain. An urgent dental treatment will always be charged at Band 1 (£21.60).

If you are entitled to free NHS dental care, you should be able to claim back the cost of any treatment. Ensure you keep all receipts.

Please note, if you are asked to come back for further treatment, this will be considered to be a separate course of non-urgent treatment.You will have to pay the relevant charge for the new course of treatment (please click here to see Dental charges explained).