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How to find an NHS dentist

You can find a dental surgery that's convenient for you, whether it's near your home or work, and phone them to see if there are any NHS appointments available.

You can search for an NHS dentist near you on this website.

Dental surgeries will not always have the capacity to take on new NHS patients. You may have to join a waiting list, look for a different dentist who is taking on new NHS patients, or be seen privately.

Once you find a dental surgery, you may have to fill in a registration form at your first visit, which is just to add you to their patient database. But that does not mean you have guaranteed access to an NHS dental appointment in the future.

Problems finding an NHS dentist

If you've been unable to find a dentist and you want to raise your concerns about this, contact your local integrated care board (ICB).

Integrated care boards (ICBs) commission dental services in England and are required to meet the needs of their local population for both urgent and routine dental care.

If you're still not satisfied with the integrated care board's (ICB's) response, you can take your complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

Dental emergency and out-of-hours care

If you think you need urgent care, contact your usual dentist, if you have one, as some surgeries offer emergency dental appointments and will provide care if clinically necessary.

You can also contact NHS 111, who can put you in touch with an urgent dental service.

Do not contact a GP, as they cannot offer urgent or emergency dental care.

When to contact NHS 111

You can get help from NHS 111 or NHS 111 online if you have:

  • severe pain
  • heavy bleeding
  • swelling of your mouth, throat, neck or eye

Call 111 or use NHS 111 online.

When to go to A&E

Only visit A&E in serious circumstances, such as:

  • injuries to the face, mouth or teeth
  • severe or increasing swelling in your mouth, throat or neck, making it difficult to breathe, swallow or speak

Find your local A&E

If you're not sure whether you should go to A&E, contact NHS 111 online.

How much will I be charged?

The emergency dentist will only deal with your current dental problem and provide clinically necessary treatment to stop any pain.

An urgent dental treatment will be charged at Band 1 (£26.80), unless you're entitled to free NHS dental treatment.

If you're asked to come back for further treatment, this will be considered 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 ask for a treatment plan.

Find out how much you'll pay for NHS dental treatment.

Page last reviewed: 13 April 2023
Next review due: 13 April 2026