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Information for patients

Access to NHS dental care

How to find an NHS dentist

To find an NHS dentist, visit:

Accessing an NHS dentist in an emergency or out of hours

For help accessing an NHS dentist in an emergency or out of hours, visit:

NHS dental care treatment

You can find out what dental services are available on the NHS on the NHS.UK website.

You can also find information about what happens when you visit an NHS dentist, personal dental treatment plans and missed appointments.

Routine treatment during COVID-19

Most NHS dental practices are now open for the provision of a full range of dental services. However, due to social distancing and enhanced infection control measures, this is not yet business as usual.

It is now possible for your dentist to provide aerosol generating procedures for a full range of NHS treatments. However, due to social distancing and enhanced infection control, there are a limited number of appointments available for this type of procedure. Priority must be given to those patients with urgent dental problems and patients from vulnerable groups.

An enhanced level of personal protective equipment is necessary to provide for some types of care.

Your COVID-19 status

If you have any symptoms of coronavirus or have been advised to self-isolate, your dentist will be unable to see you for an appointment.

If you have an urgent dental problem, your dentist will provide advice on managing your symptoms or may prescribe antibiotics to control any infections until a face-to-face appointment can be arranged.

It may be possible for your dentist to refer you to a designated centre for urgent dental treatment. Speak to your dentist for further information.

Cost of NHS dental treatment

As an NHS patient, you do not need to pay for:

  • advice given over the telephone
  • additional costs of personal protective equipment
  • the need for the dentist to take longer in the surgery to complete your treatment because they are following COVID-19 guidelines.

See help with NHS dental costs for information about current NHS dental treatment charges, replacement dental appliances and refunds.

Cost of NHS dental treatment requiring additional resources or advanced technology

If you are accepted as an NHS patient then, following an examination, all treatment that is available under the NHS and identified as clinically necessary should be offered as an NHS option for that course of treatment. You should not be charged an additional private fee on top of the NHS fee, regardless of the justification for the clinical techniques or materials used for your treatment.

You should not be charged an additional private fee on top of the NHS fee to cover the additional cost of personal protective equipment.

If you are unable to obtain NHS treatment within normal practice hours, you can find information about access to out-of-hours dental services and contact information on NHS.UK or NHS 111 Wales.

Entitlement to free NHS dental care

Certain groups don’t have to pay for NHS dental care. See free NHS dental treatment for more information.

How to make a complaint about a dental practice

Find out how to make a complaint about a dental practice on our Knowledge Base website