Coronavirus and your dental care

From 8 June, dental practices are able to reopen. Practices will prioritise patients with the most urgent need. Read the latest advice on how to access urgent dental care.

Locally, people have told us of their confusion about how to access dental care and this issue is echoed nationally. We want to ensure you have the information to get the help you need. 

In England, some routine dental treatments are now available again.

Changes have been made to keep you and the dental care team safe.

What should I do if I need to see a dentist?

Do not go to your GP or A&E department.

Do not visit your dental practice unless you have been told to. This will ensure your practice can continue to provide essential care safely. 

  • Call or email your dentist
  • If you aren't registered with a NHS dentist or cannot contact your dentist, contact NHS111
  • If you are self-isolating or have symptoms of COVID-19 and your dental need is urgent please call NHS 111, do not attend a dental practice.

If you have COVID-19 it is important you inform the service when you speak to them

After contacting your dentist

Your dentist will either give you advice or offer you an appointment, if appropriate.

The range of treatment 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.

Call your practice before attending in person and let your practice know if you are
unable to make your appointment.

If you are seeking a routine appointment this may not be possible: patients in pain or at
risk of losing teeth will be prioritised. 

If you are told to visit your dentist you may notice some changes 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 from what you are used to seeing. 

After contacting NHS 111

You will connected with a dental triage nurse. You will then go through a triage (assessment) process to determine the next step. 

If you meet criteria for urgent care they will refer you to a Urgent Dental Hub. 

Urgent Dental Hubs

This might take place at a location that is different to your dentist and involve you to travel further. Your nearest Urgent Dental Hub is Kingston Hospital.

How much will I be charged for this service?

There is no charge for the triage process (although if you are given a prescription, it will be subject to the normal prescription charge).

Face-to-face appointments are subject to normal NHS dental charges (from £22.70 for emergency and Band 1 treatment).

Depending on your individual circumstances you may not need to pay NHS dental charges.

Check if you are exempt from NHS dental charges

Look after your dental health

It’s important to look after your dental health by maintaining a healthy diet and oral hygiene routine.

To help prevent dental problems, the NHS have some top tips for maintaining dental health:

  • Brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
  • The best time to brush is last thing at night, before you go to bed and in the morning
  • Cut down on sugary foods and drinks- both how much you have and how often you have it
  • Keep sugar consumption to mealtimes - this will reduce the time your teeth are under at risk of tooth decay
  • Keep your dentures out at night and brush your dentures after meals

What is your dental team doing to keep you safe?

Download this poster to see what your dentist visit may look like.

Have you got an experience of dental care in the Coronavirus crisis?

We would like to hear from you if you have received urgent dental care since the end of March. Share you experience, so we can support improvements in the care.

Did you know how to ask for help? How well did the process work for you? Did you get the help you needed?

Tell us your experience

020 8099 5335

info@healthwatchrichmond.co.uk

Share your thoughts

You can help make health and care services better by sharing your experiences and ideas.

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