Finding a dentist near you

We have been getting calls from people who are having problems finding a NHS dentist. This is a nationwide problem and Healthwatch England has raised it with the government.
Image of dentist with xray

Are you looking for a NHS dentist?

Dental Choices website is updated regularly and shows you the nearest dentists which may be taking on new NHS patients. You can search by postcode. The website is not updated daily, so please use it as a guide.

The NHS website also allows you to search by postcode, but it identifies all NHS dentists, including those who are not taking NHS patients currently.

Still cannot find a NHS dentist?

If after contacting several dental surgeries you still cannot find a dentist accepting NHS patients call NHS England. Let NHS England know you have used the above information provided by your local Healthwatch.

NHS England Customer Contact Centre

 0300 311 2233

What to do if you have a dental emergency

If you need immediate care for your teeth, you should:

  • If you have a regular dentist, ask them if they can offer an emergency appointment.
  • Phone NHS111 who can locate an urgent dental service.
  • Visit A&E if you experience severe pain, heavy bleeding, or injuries to the face, mouth or teeth.

Survey finds widening inequalities in dental health

Healthwatch England's poll in February 2022 looked at people’s experiences of NHS dentistry, including costs associated with dental care. 

  • 41% said they found it difficult to book an NHS dental appointment, whilst one in five (20%) couldn’t access all the treatments they needed.
  • One in four (24%) said they had to pay privately to get all the required treatment.

The findings come as more than 2,000 dentists quit the NHS last year, according to recent data obtained by the Association of Dental Groups, suggesting a growing trend toward private provision.

The shortage of NHS appointments has hit people on low incomes hardest, meaning they are less likely to have dental treatment than those on higher incomes. 

Find out more

Attending a dentist appointment with a NHS dentist - Top tips

We asked Enfield and Haringey Local Dental Committee for some advice on dental appointments. Here's what they told us.

  • If you are looking for a dentist, be precise about what you want when you contact them. If you are in pain and it's an emergency, say so when you call, so that you may be prioritised if the practice has any emergency appointments available. When you are seen, you can expect just to be treated on a one-time basis for your pain, and not for permanent treatment.
  • If you are not in pain and you want an appointment for a check-up and any fillings etc, be prepared just to have your teeth and mouth examined at the first appointment, and perhaps x-rays too. There may then be a wait for a further appointment for the dentist to start the work, because all dentists are so busy at the moment.
  • If you see an NHS emergency dentist, it's a help for the next dentist you see if you bring a short report from the emergency dentist. The NHS form you can ask for with that information is an FP17DC.
  • When you come for your appointment, make sure you arrive on time, because the current Covid-19 arrangements mean that late-arrivers may not be able to be seen. Please also be patient and understanding if the dentist is running late.
  • If you make an appointment but find you cannot attend after all please cancel in good time so that the dentist can use that appointment slot for someone else. 
  • Please continue to follow instructions regarding mask-wearing and social-distancing. These remain important for your safety and the safety of staff and other patients.

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