Almost all dental practices are now open to provide face to face care and 90% are able also to offer aerosol-generating (AGP) procedures (anything involving the use of powered instruments like drills or scalers). There are also currently 93 Urgent Dental Care Centres across the Midlands providing urgent care for those patients who do not have access to a regular dentist or whose dentist is not yet offering the full range of services.
In many cases you can expect to have to speak to a dentist by phone or video consultation first prior to being seen in the dental surgery – especially when you have an urgent dental problem. Dental practices can prescribe antibiotics or painkillers if needed and this can be done by phone.
People should continue to contact their local dental surgery by phone for advice on dental care and treatment. Out of surgery hours patients should contact NHS 111. Patients are still expected to pay normal dental charges (unless exempt) but should not be charged extra. NHS patients should not be told that they can only access care privately. In some cases you may have to wait longer than normal for an appointment for treatment (particularly for AGP procedures) as dentists will be prioritising the most urgent cases.
If you do not have a regular dentist or have not recently accessed NHS Dental care then please contact NHS 111. It is often quicker and easier to use the online system rather than phoning. You will then be directed to a dental practice who can assess you by phone and if needed you will be offered face to face care at a practice with capacity to see you. This may be an urgent dental centre.
Anyone who feels unwell or has any Covid -19 symptoms or is self-isolating following contact from NHS Test and Trace should not visit their normal surgery even if they have a confirmed appointment. It is important for patients to be honest about whether they are symptomatic or have been asked to self-isolate. Dedicated urgent dental centres continue to operate where symptomatic or self-isolating patients needing urgent care can be seen and treated.
Please note, Nettleham Medical Practice cannot advise on dental matters, or prescribe antibiotics for dental conditions.