How Much Is Out of Hours Dentist UK?didsburyadmin
Sudden tooth pain or a traumatic injury to the face can be terrifying, especially when you lose a tooth or experience a lot of pain or bleeding. With other health-related emergencies, you’d take yourself to A&E but when it comes to dental care in the UK, it isn’t always as clear what to do or who to see.
Fortunately, most towns and cities in the UK have an emergency dentist that’s open outside of normal working hours. But since dental care isn’t always covered on the NHS, you need to be wary of the costs. We’ll look at who doesn’t have to pay for their dental care in the UK, when you can see an out-of-hours dentist and how much you can expect to pay.
Who Can Receive Free Dental Care in the UK?
The NHS is a fantastic service that provides free healthcare services for British residents, however, it doesn’t completely cover dental treatment; most people have to pay a subsidised amount to have NHS dental care for urgent and non-urgent dental treatment.
People entitled to free dental care on the NHS include:
- Under 16s
- Under 18s in full-time education
- People receiving certain benefits
Some people are entitled to free dental care on the NHS if stated on their:
- Maternity exemption certificate
- Medical exemption certificate
- Tax Credit exemption certificate
- HC2 certificate
All medically necessary dental treatment is available on the NHS via appointments or in an emergency through out-of-hours dentists for a fee, although you’ll only be charged once for each course of treatment, regardless of how many visits to the dentist you need for the dental work to be completed.
What Hours Do Dentists Work in the UK?
Dentists usually work standard working hours in the UK i.e. from 9 am to 5 pm, although some are open earlier or later to accommodate the working population, so you can still get a dentist’s appointment without having to take a day off work. Private practices tend to be open for longer, but dentists’ opening hours depend on the practice.
At Didsbury Dental Practice, we’re open from 9 am to midnight every day of the year for routine check-ups and appointments, and emergency dental appointments are available 24 hours a day!
What’s an Out-of-Hours Dentist?
Out-of-hours dentists work outside of the normal 9 to 5 so people who need emergency dental care can receive it at any time of day. Your dental practice may close at a normal time and be replaced by another team of dentists who will work a night shift, or you might have to call a different dental practice to receive out-of-hours treatment.
Although you may want to visit a dentist for a check-up at an unusual time of day to fit in with your work or family schedule, but, out-of-hours dentists are exclusively for dental emergencies, to make sure anyone who needs urgent treatment to their teeth or gums can receive it.
How Much is an Out-of-Hours Dentist in the UK?
The cost of seeing an out-of-hours dentist in the UK changes depending on whether you see an NHS dentist or a private one, and then what treatment you’re having.
If you meet the requirements to have free dental care on the NHS, you won’t have to pay for any emergency dental treatment you have either. However, otherwise, you’ll have to pay £25.80 for any urgent dental care on the NHS. If your situation requires a course of treatment after your emergency dentistry, you’ll have to pay the standard NHS costs for the course of treatment, depending on what price band your care falls in.
Seeing a private dentist will be more expensive, but doesn’t have to be extortionate. The exact price you pay will depend on what dental treatment you have, but can range from £80 – £500. At 24-hour Didsbury Dental Practice, we charge just £280 for an emergency tooth extraction or root canal. Plus, you don’t have to be registered to get an emergency appointment.
Can You Have Non-Urgent Out-of-Hours Dental Treatment?
NHS out-of-hours dentists are strictly for urgent appointments, so you can’t have a check-up, cleaning or cosmetic dentistry in an out-of-hours clinic. Most private dentists only accept emergency appointments too, although their working hours may differ from NHS dentists, so speak to your practice about getting a non-urgent appointment at a time that best suits you, and they may be able to help you.
What’s a Dental Emergency?
So if out-of-hours dentists are only for urgent dental care, what constitutes a dental emergency? Essentially anything that involves extreme pain or damage to the teeth or mouth that doesn’t get better with painkillers and is stopping you from conducting your normal daily activities, like eating, drinking or sleeping. Toothache can have many causes, so it’s best not to wait and see how it develops; make an emergency dental appointment as soon as possible.
If you have sustained an injury to the face or neck that has damaged your teeth but your neck or eyes are swelling, you’re struggling to breathe, or you’re losing a lot of blood, you should go straight to A&E. They may send you to a dentist afterwards for care for your teeth, but it’s important to stop any significant bleeding and ensure you can breathe easily and aren’t suffering a head injury, or any other serious injuries, before any dental work is carried out.
If you’ve had an injury or are experiencing pain and aren’t sure what to do, you should call the free NHS non-emergency helpline 111, and someone will advise you on what treatment you need, if any, and where you can go for the best care.
Common reasons for needing emergency dental care include:
- Extremely painful toothache
- A tooth infection
- A damaged tooth
- A missing tooth
- Broken dentures
Broken or missing teeth and dentures can be painful or disruptive, so it’s important to get them seen to by a dentist as soon as you can. But chipped teeth or dentures that don’t cause pain or difficulty eating and are simply aesthetic are not dental emergencies. If you wish to get a chipped tooth fixed, a private dentist can do this for you in their normal working hours.
Emergency dentists can:
- Extract teeth
- Perform root canals
- Repair broken teeth
- Fix dentures
- Repair crowns and bridges
Can You Be Put to Sleep at the Dentist?
It’s completely understandable to be worried about visiting the dentist, especially if you need to have a tooth extracted, but dentists aren’t scary people and they’ll do their best to keep you comfortable during any procedure. Many people wonder if they can be put to sleep for their dental work – or undergo a general anaesthetic – as they’d rather not know about the procedure while it’s going on, but it’s inadvisable and very unlikely you’ll be able to have a general anaesthetic for any dental procedure.
On the NHS, only children and adults with certain disabilities can have general anaesthesia for dental work and it must be carried out in a hospital. Otherwise, most people are given a local anaesthetic to numb the area that will be operated on but will remain conscious. However, if you are very concerned or anxious about your dental procedure, a dentist can give you a sedative, usually through an injection, that will relax you so they can give you the local anaesthetic and perform the procedure.
Don’t Wait til it’s Too Late! – Visit Your Dentist
Emergency out-of-hours dental care is available when needed in the UK, but prevention is better than a cure, so it’s better to look after your teeth and avoid the emergency dentist altogether!
You should be brushing, flossing and using mouthwash twice a day, every day, but equally as importantly, you should have regular check-ups with your dentist and see them as soon as the pain arises so you can deal with it before it gets any more serious and leaves you sleepless with a severe toothache in the middle of the night.
Don’t wait until it’s too late, book an appointment with Didsbury Dental Practice now!