How can I access an NHS dentist in an emergency or out of hours?

If you have a regular NHS dentist and need urgent treatment, contact your dentist for advice. 

If you do not have a regular NHS dentist, you can contact NHS 111. They can give you details of out-of-hours dental services in your area. You could also see if there are any urgent care services near you that provide emergency dental treatment.

Out-of-hours dental care

Dental practices are normally open during the daytime and sometimes at weekends. If you have a problem outside these hours, you may need to be seen urgently.

If you’re in pain, you can first try helping yourself by taking painkillers. If you feel the problem can wait until normal practice hours, you can call NHS 111 for self care advice. 

Emergency dental care

If your problem is more urgent, you can access out-of-hours dental services in your area by calling:

  • your dentist, who should have an answerphone message with details of how to access treatment out-of-hours  
  • NHS 111

Go to the accident and emergency (A&E) department of your local hospital if you:

  • are in severe pain that is not helped by painkillers
  • are bleeding a lot and it won't stop
  • trauma of the face, mouth or teeth after a recent accident or injury 

NHS out-of-hours or emergency dental care

NHS dental care is available in an emergency if it is clinically necessary, whether or not you have a regular dentist.

From April 1 2013, emergency and out-of-hours NHS dental care will cost you £18. You will not have to pay for emergency or out-of-hours care if you’re entitled to free NHS dental treatment. For more information, see Who is entitled to free NHS dental treatment in England?

Read the answers to more questions about dental health.

Further information:

Page last reviewed: 05/02/2013

Next review due: 04/02/2015