What to do if you have a dental problem during the COVID-19 pandemic

Updated: 9 November 2020

What to do if you have a dental problem during the COVID-19 pandemic

If you have a dental issue during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that you know how to access help when you need it.

All dental practices in the North West are now open and have resumed face-to-face care. Due to the requirements around personal protective equipment and infection protection and control measures all dental practices are currently unable to see as many patients as before and may not yet be able to offer the full range of services due to increased infection, prevention and control measures.

Some dental practices may be required to close if the staff are required to self-isolate. In this case, patients will be advised by the dental practice of how to access emergency and urgent dental care until face-to-face care is available again.

If you need dental help or advice, please contact your dental practice over the phone first, rather than in person.  You will be assessed over the phone and may be given advice, medication or a face-to-face appointment if needed.

Your practice will look different than normal, as it will be operating in a way that observes COVID-19 social distancing and hygiene rules as part of measures taken to ensure your safety and that of the dental team. For all face-to-face care, infection prevention and control measures and personal protective equipment requirements are in place to ensure patient and staff safety.

While dental practices work to ensure that those who need dental care most can receive it, they may be unable to offer routine examinations and other non-urgent care.

Patients who require completion of pre-COVID-19 treatment plans will be prioritised alongside high-risk patients and children.
Urgent dental services have been established across the region for patients and the public during the COVID-19 pandemic and they are continuing to see and treat patients on referral by  a dentist who may not offer specific treatments.

If you are in pain or in need of support, help or advice, please telephone your dental practice in the usual way.

If you don’t have a usual dentist and you have an urgent need you can call your local dental helpline:

  • Greater Manchester: 0333 332 3800
  • Cheshire and Merseyside: 0161 476 9651
  • Lancashire: 0300 1234 010
  • South Cumbria: 01539 716 822

You will be assessed and given advice over the phone, which may result in a remote consultation with a dentist or a face-to-face appointment.
To support NHS services, it is important that you do not visit hospitals or doctors’ surgeries with dental problems unless you are advised to do so.