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.
Getting advice about a dentist

From 8 June 2020, dentists were 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 any local dental practice. You can also phone NHS 111. Translation services are available.
  • If you are deaf or hard of hearing visit the NHS 111 British Sign Language (BSL) Service website.

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 

111 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)

Greater Manchester Urgent Dental Care Service

0333 332 3800 (8am-10pm)

Dental helpline

01788 539780 (9am–5pm, Monday to Friday)

Further information

Healthwatch Manchester has received a lot requests for information about NHS Dentistry during COVID-19.

If you need further information and signposting to a local dentist accepting new NHS patients, contact us:

0161 228 1344

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