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

Getting help from a dentist

Dentists are open for urgent and routine treatments. If you're registered with a dentist, you can contact the surgery by phone or in person.

You might have to wait for an appointment if it's not urgent.

If you need dental treatment in an emergency

  • call a dentist: some surgeries offer appointments at short notice
  • if you do not have a dentist, find one using NHS 111

If you need to see a dentist out of hours

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

Do not contact a GP, as they will not 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 £23.80, unless you're entitled to free NHS dental treatment.

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

If you're not entitled to free NHS dental 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.

Find information on understanding NHS dental charges.

When to go to hospital

Only go to 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: 25 March 2020
Next review due: 25 March 2023