How to find a dentist near me: where are local dentists in your area, how much is an appointment - NHS pricing

Your guide to finding a NHS dentist in your area

The British Dental Association claims millions of people are struggling to get the dental care they need.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, dentists were told to prioritise vulnerable groups and those with an urgent need. They also provided free healthcare for pregnant women, young people and those on low income benefits.

People across the UK are desperate to get the care and advice they need to keep their teeth healthy.

We take a look at the best ways to access a local dentist in your area.

Dentists were forced to prioritize important groups during the pandemic (Getty Images)

How to find an NHS dentist near me

You can search for an NHS dental service near you on the NHS website. Once you have typed in your postcode a list of NHS dentists will appear.

This will give you an idea of which dental practices are accepting new patients and how long it will take for an appointment to be scheduled, it will also give an overview of how people have rated their service.

While this is a strong starting point, it is also advised that you can contact the practice directly to find out more information.

What to do if you are unable to get an appointment with an NHS dentist?

If you are having difficulties arranging an appointment or are struggling to find a dentist which is taking on new patients you can contact your local healthwatch.

It is also possible to contact NHS England about the issue, as they have an obligation to provide dental care across the country.

How much does an appointment cost?

There are three NHS charge bands:

  • Band 1: £23.80

A basic routine examination which includes diagnosis and advice. If necessary it will also include X-rays, a scale and polish and planning for further treatment.

  • Band 2: £65.20

This will cover all the treatment included in Band 1, it will also include other forms of treatment such as fillings, root canal treatment, and removing teeth (extractions).

  • Band 3: £282.80

This will cover all treatment included in bands 1 and 2, in addition it will cover more complex procedures such as crowns,dentures and bridges.

Why is it so difficult to find a dentist taking on NHS patients right now?

Those that weren’t previously registered with an NHS dentist before the COVID-19 pandemic are having extreme difficulties when trying to register with a dentist.

Dental services have still not returned to normal two years into the pandemic. This is a direct result of the backlog that was created during the lockdown.

The BBC recently looked into around 7,000 NHS practises throughout the UK.

The investigation found that Yorkshire and the Humber, the South-West of England and the North West had the worst figures in the UK with 98% of practices not accepting new adult NHS patients.

The best results were in London, where around a quarter of practises were taking on new adult patients.

One in 10 local authorities did not have any practises taking on under 16s for the NHS treatment, despite children in full time education being entitled to completely free health care.