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Emergency Dentist

Everyone should have access to good quality NHS dental services. Try to find a practice that's convenient for you and phone them to see if any appointments are available. Ask if you’re not sure whether the practice provides NHS care. If the dental practice you contact is full or doesn't provide NHS care, this doesn’t mean that there is no NHS dental care available locally. Contact the dental helpline in your Health Board area.

To find a dentist, you can:

If you are experiencing dental pain you should contact your dentist to get an appointment. Do not go to your GP, as they will not be able to properly assess the issue or give you any dental treatment, including antibiotics or pain relief.  All dentists should have capacity for emergencies if you are on their list.


What qualifies as a dental emergency?

If you are in pain, you may be wondering whether you are able to arrange an emergency appointment to diagnose and treat the source of the problem. A dental emergency is different from a medical emergency and you may be able to be seen by a dentist sooner than you think. A dental emergency can cover a broad range of complaints, including:

Severe dental pain – If you are in severe dental pain an emergency dental appointment could provide the necessary care to relieve your dental pain.

Uncontrolled Bleeding from the mouth – Uncontrolled bleeding from the mouth is considered a dental emergency and you should see your dentist as soon as possible.

Knocked-out tooth – If your tooth has fallen out due to impact or injury then an emergency dental appointment could save the tooth if it is booked rapidly after tooth loss.

Infection – An Abscess in the mouth is considered a dental emergency as a serious infection could be life-threatening. If you are experiencing swelling in or around your mouth or can feel knots in the jaw, you should speak to your dentist immediately.


When is it not a dental emergency?

A cracked or chipped tooth is not a dental emergency unless sharp fragments remain in your mouth or you are in severe pain.

Toothache can wait for a general dental appointment when it is not causing severe pain. If you can wait to be seen by a dentist then your toothache may not require an emergency appointment.

A missing crown or filling is not considered a dental emergency however your dentist may see you as a priority and you may be able to be seen sooner than usual.

If you conclude that your situation is not an emergency, you should still contact your dentist. The practice may be able to arrange an ad hoc appointment and you could receive treatment much sooner than you expect.


To see a dentist in an emergency or out of hours:

  • call your regular dentist – if they're closed, their answerphone may tell you what to do


If you do not have a dentist or cannot get an emergency appointment:

  • call 111 – they can advise you what to do
  • call the dental helpline - 02920 444500 
  • find a dentist near you – ask if you can have an emergency appointment

You may have to pay for your appointment.

Read more about NHS dental charges.