Accessing Dental Care in England from June 8

From 8th June dental practices are able to open. Practices will need to prioritise patients with the most urgent need.

If you need help from a dentist:

  • Contact your dental practice by phone or email
  • You will be given advice or offered an appointment if appropriate
  • For urgent dental care you can also use the NHS 111 online service


  • The range of treatments you will be offered may be different to what you received previously
  • Treatments offered may vary from practice to practice
  • This will depend on the staff and equipment available at the time and is to ensure your safety and that of the dental team

If you are told to visit your dentist, you may notice some changes have been made to keep you and your dental team safe:

  • Your practice will look different as it observes social distancing and hygiene rules
  • The dental team may also be wearing different protective equipment to what you are used to seeing

Anyone with an urgent dental issue should telephone their dental practice (or any NHS practice if they don’t have a regular dentist) for advice on what to do next.

They will be triaged first over the telephone. If they need face to face care, they will be given an appointment and encouraged to attend as long as they do not have any COVID-19 symptoms.

Anyone requiring treatment will be given clear instructions by the dental practice on what they need to do prior to their face-to-face appointment and once they get to the practice.

If after telephone triage the clinician decides the issue is not deemed urgent, the patient may be given advice on how to self-manage their dental problem. They will be advised to make contact again if their situation changes

We ask patients to be understanding of the current situation with regards to the prioritisation of those with urgent needs and be respectful of the clinical decision. The dentist is best placed to clinically assess their dental issue. If they are deemed non-urgent, we would ask that they don’t then call 111 for a second opinion leaving 111 staff free to deal with other patients with urgent health issues.

Published: Sep 25, 2020