Everyone should be able to access good-quality NHS dental services. There is no need to register with a dentist in the same way as with a GP because you are not bound to a catchment area. Simply find a dental practice that’s convenient for you, whether it’s near your home or work, and phone them to see if there are any appointments available.
If you do not have a regular dental practice or are new to the area, you can search for an NHS dentist near you on this site. Dental practices won’t always have the capacity to take on new NHS patients – you may have to join a waiting list, look for a different dentist who is taking on new NHS patients, or be seen privately. Once you find a dental practice, you may have to fill in a registration form at your first visit, which is purely to add you to their patient database. However, that does not mean you have guaranteed access to an NHS dental appointment in the future.
Problems finding an NHS dentist
If after contacting several dental practices you still can’t find a dentist accepting NHS patients, you should call NHS England’s Customer Contact Centre on 0300 311 2233.NHS England commissions dental services in England and is required to meet the needs of their local population for both urgent and routine dental care.Your local Healthwatch also may be able to give you information about services in your area.
If NHS England has been unable to help you find a dentist and you want to raise your concerns about this, contact them on:
If you’re still not satisfied with NHS England’s response, you can take your complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.
Page last reviewed: 2 August, 2021