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

If you need dental treatment in an emergency

  • call your dentist: some practices offer appointments at short notice
  • if you don't have a dentist, find one using NHS 111
  • look up urgent care services that provide dental treatment

If you need to see a dentist out of hours

  • call your dentist: their answerphone may advise where to get out-of-hours treatment
  • call NHS 111 to find an out-of-hours dental service near you

Don't contact your GP, as they won't be able to offer emergency or out-of-hours dental care.

If you're in pain while waiting to see a dentist, take painkillers. NHS 111 can also offer other self care advice. 

How much will I be charged?

An urgent dental treatment will cost £20.60 – see NHS dental charges explained.

If you're entitled to free NHS dental care, you should be able to claim back the cost of any treatment.

Ensure you keep all receipts. For more information, see Help with dental costs.

If you're asked to come back for further treatment, this will be considered to be a separate course of non-urgent treatment.

You'll have to pay the relevant charge for the new course of treatment.

Ask the dentist what the treatment will cost or whether you can have a treatment plan.

When to go to hospital

Only go to accident and emergency (A&E) in serious circumstances, such as:

  • severe pain 
  • heavy bleeding 
  • injuries to the face, mouth, or teeth 

If you're not sure whether you should go to A&E, contact NHS 111, who will be able to advise you. Find out when to dial 999.  

Further information:

Page last reviewed: 30/04/2017

Next review due: 30/04/2020