Independent advice on private healthcare
How do I find an emergency dentist: UK?
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- What do I do if I need emergency dental treatment?
- Emergency dental hospitals in the UK
- What counts as a dental emergency?
- Emergency dental clinics in the UK
The way to go about finding an emergency dentist in the UK depends on which part of England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland you are in when you have your dental emergency, and also whether this is your local area, you are travelling, or on holiday. Dental surgeries in the UK vary in the emergency dental service they offer.
Finding a UK emergency dentist near home
If you have a tooth knocked out, an abscess that is very painful and swelling alarmingly, or your mouth starts to bleed uncontrollably when you get home after dental treatment, you should arrange for emergency dental treatment as soon as possible. If you are registered with a UK dentist and it is during normal opening hours, you should call your own dental surgery and explain the problem.
All UK dentists are able to treat true dental emergencies very quickly and you should be able to get a dental appointment that same day. If your tooth has been avulsed and you can get to your dentist within half an hour, a dentist will fit you in to fix the tooth back in place so that it has the best chance of surviving.
If your dental emergency is in the evening or at the weekend, when the dental surgery is closed, most have a 24-hour answer phone that will give you information on how to contact an out-of-hours emergency dentist. UK dentists arrange for emergency cover for their patients within the NHS scale of dental charges and, although the emergency dentist you will see may not be your usual one, you can expect prompt emergency treatment that won’t cost a fortune.
Finding a UK emergency dentist away from home
If you live in the UK but you are on holiday in a different UK region, your local emergency dental helpline will probably not be much use. They only have contacts with emergency dentists within a radius of a few miles. If this is the case, then you have several options to find an emergency dentist local to you:
- Call the NHS Direct Helpline to get details of an emergency dentist. This is a 24-hour service and although it is not a dedicated emergency dental helpline, it does have information on emergency dentists UK-wide. If you are in Scotland, the equivalent helpline, NHS 24, will probably be able to help you more quickly
- NHS Direct: 0845 4647
- NHS 24: 08454 242 424
- Search online for an emergency dentist in the area where you are. If you are on holiday in a remote or rural spot, it is a good idea to search for emergency dentists in the nearest major town or city. Use Google or your favoured search engine and use the search term emergency dentist UK followed by the name of the town or city. This will call up links to many dental practices and it is a matter of searching through a few of them to get contact details. Be aware that some dental practices will only treat dental emergencies privately, so get a quote of the likely emergency dental charges when you phone them direct.
- Try Dentist-Finder.co.uk. This website claims to list every UK dentist and the listings include reviews and other details that may help you find a local emergency dentist. You can search by city name by browsing an alphabetical list, or put a postcode into the search box. Not all listings are complete but each one does give the address of the dental surgery and a phone number.
- NHS Choices provides an online Find a dentist service. If you enter the postcode of your location you will be presented with a list of local dentists. There is information about opening hours and contact details; again, their answer phone should have details of an out-of-hours service and how to contact an emergency dentist.
- Investigate larger dental clinics or dental hospitals in the area. These often provide a more extensive emergency dental service than smaller dental surgeries.
Check out NHS Dental Access Centres for an emergency dentist UK
Dental Access Centres are UK dental surgeries, dental clinics, or dental hospitals that offer treatment to non-registered UK patients. This is ideal if you away on holiday and need emergency dental treatment, or even just urgent dental treatment. Many offer an extended service in the evenings and at weekends as well as details about how to access an out-of-hours service.
Find your nearest NHS Dental Access Centre by:
- Searching online using a search engine using NHS Dental Access Centre followed by the name of the town or city nearest to you
- Go to the NHS Choices home page and enter "Dental Access Centre" as a search term in the NHS Choices search box. You can also search with "Dental Access Centre" followed by the name of the nearest city
Note that most of the search results are for dental practices in England.
Finding emergency dentists in other parts of the UK
For an emergency dentist in Scotland:
- Call NHS 24 on 08454 242 424.
- Search online using Scottish Dental. This has a list of emergency dental services in Scotland with a helpline phone number for each region
For an emergency dentist in Wales:
NHS Wales has useful numbers and links on emergency dentists in Wales.
For an emergency dentist in Northern Ireland:
There is no obvious central website with information but using "emergency dentist Northern Ireland" as a search term in any good search engine comes up with some useful links. If you do this in Google, the first hits are ‘Places for emergency dentist near Northern Ireland’, which is a list of dental surgeries and dental centres shown on a map of Northern Ireland. Individual links take you to the relevant contact details.
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