Dental services for Christmas and New Year

People should continue to contact their local dental surgery by phone for advice on dental care and treatment. During the Christmas and New Year period practices will be signposting to alternative services if they are not open. Out of usual surgery hours patients should contact NHS 111. Patients are still expected to pay normal dental charges (unless exempt) but should not be charged extra.

Most dentists will require patients to be clinically assessed by phone or video consultation prior to being seen in the dental surgery should this be needed. Dental practices can prescribe antibiotics or painkillers by phone.

NHS patients should not be told that they can only access care privately. You may have to wait longer than normal for an appointment for treatment (particularly for AGP procedures) as dentists will be prioritising the most urgent cases.

Patients that do not have a regular dentist or have not recently accessed NHS Dental care, should contact NHS 111. It is often quicker and easier to use the online system rather than phoning. Patients will then be directed to a dental practice who can assess them by phone and if needed they will offered face to face care at a practice with capacity to see them. This may be an Urgent Dental Centre.

Patients that are offered dental appointments in whatever setting, including hospitals, should attend their appointment. If for whatever reason, patients are not able to attend they must let the practice/hospital know in advance to enable them to offer the appointment to another patient.

Anyone who feels unwell or has any Covid -19 symptoms or is self-isolating following contact from NHS Test and Trace should not visit their normal surgery even if they have a confirmed appointment. It is important for patients to be honest about whether they are symptomatic or have been asked to self-isolate.

Dedicated Urgent Dental Centres continue to operate where symptomatic or self-isolating patients needing urgent care can be seen and treated.

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