How to get an NHS dentist appointment during COVID-19

Routine dental care has had to change because of COVID-19, with social distancing rules making it difficult to access services. Here’s some information on how to access an NHS dentist during the pandemic.
dentist

From 8 June 2020, dentists have been given the green light to reopen as long as they have social distancing measures and the right personal protective equipment in place.

As a result, not all services or practices will be available from this date and there will be fewer appointments available.

How do I find a dentist? 

To get the help you need you can: 

  • Phone your local dentist to get information about their opening hours and advice on where you can go to get the care you need 
  • If you don’t have a dentist or your dentist is closed, you can contact the 8am-8pm service or any local dental practice. You can also phone NHS 111. Translation services are available.  
  • If you are deaf or hard of hearing visit https://interpreternow.co.uk/nhs111

Healthwatch Milton Keynes has been informed by the NHS England NHS Improvement (East of England) Head of Commissioning for Dentistry that during COVID-19 the 8-8 service in Milton Keynes should be accepting NHS patients for dental treatment other than routine check-ups. However, we are aware that some people are facing difficulties, so if you’re struggling to find an NHS dentist which is taking on new patients, please contact us .

Do not visit a dentist without an appointment. 

Practices will need to prioritise their patients based upon their needs. The British Dental Association advises:

  • If you call to make an appointment, you will be asked some screening questions. You’ll be asked those same questions again at your appointment 
  • You will probably be asked to use hand sanitiser or to wash your hands when you arrive (and again before you leave) 
  • Social distancing measures will be in place in the waiting rooms 
  • Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you’re offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.

I need urgent dental assistance – what can I do? 

For urgent advice on any oral health issue you can call: 

  • NHS 111 (open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) 
  • Call the dental helpline at 01788 539780 (local rate call in the UK) for free and impartial advice between 9 am – 5 pm, Monday to Friday.

Questions

Healthwatch Milton Keynes has received a lot requests for Advice and Information about NHS Dentistry during COVID-19.

Tracy, Deputy CEO at Healthwatch Milton Keynes, answers many of your questions in the video below.

If you need further advice and signposting, email us at info@healthwatchmiltonkeynes.co.uk or call us on 01908 698800.

Tracy, Deputy CEO at Healthwatch MK, answers some of your questions.

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