Patient Information: Finding A Dentist
8. How do I find a dentist?
Why do I need to go to a dentist?
Dentists have spent many years training how to look after your teeth, gums and mouth. A dentist will give you a check-up to make sure your teeth are healthy, and carry out cleaning and repair work if your teeth are not healthy.
How do I find a dentist?
Cities and towns have many dentists working in them. Even some villages will have a dentist's surgery. It is recommended that you register with a local dentist, so that you do not have to travel too far to visit them.
- A good way to find a dentist is to ask people you know in your local area for the name of their dentist. This also allows you to ask people about the services the surgery offers and any other questions you may have.
- If you cannot find a local dentist, then you can ask the NHS for help, by telephoning NHS Direct on this number 0845 46 47. This service has recently started working with interpreters, so you will be able to talk to someone in your own language and ask them about dentists near you.
- If you have access to the Internet, you can go to this NHS web page and do a search for your nearest dentist. This website also contains the answers to questions such as what services your dentist can offer you and how to see a dentist in an emergency. This site is so far available in English only.
Is there a charge for my dental treatment?
In the UK, dentists are allowed to take both NHS patients and private patients. Make sure that your dentist registers you as an NHS patient, unless you wish to be a private patient and therefore pay for all of your dental treatment.
When you see a dentist for a check-up, you will have to pay a small fee even if you are an NHS patient. This is currently about £20.00. If you are entitled to reduced cost or free NHS prescriptions, you may also be entitled to free dental treatment. Check with your dentist when you see them.
If you need a lot of dental treatment, you might have to pay some of the cost. You will pay up to a maximum sum; the NHS will pay for the outstanding amount.
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