What to do if you have a dental problem?
If you have a regular NHS or private dentist and need advice or urgent treatment, contact them in the first instance. If you do not have a regular NHS dentist, you can contact the NHS 111 service. They can give you details of dental services in your area.
Out of Hours Dental Care
Dental Practices are normally open during the day time and sometimes at weekends. If you have a problem outside of these hours, you may need to be seen urgently. If you are in pain, you can first try helping yourself by taking painkillers. If you feel the problem cannot wait until normal dental Practice hours, you can call the NHS 111 service for self care advice.
Emergency Dental Care
If your problem is more urgent, you can access out of hours dental services by calling your own dentist, who should have an answer phone message with details of how to access treatment out of hours or you can call the NHS 111 service. You should go to the accident and emergency (A&E) department of your local hospital if you are in severe pain that is not helped by painkillers, are bleeding a lot and it won’t stop or you have trauma of the face, mouth or teeth after a recent accident or injury.
NHS dental care is available in an emergency, if it is clinically necessary, whether or not you have a regular dentist.
Dental Problems and your Doctor
Dental problems are best assessed by a fully trained dentist rather than by your GP. A dental abscess will usually need analgesia and it is advisable for you to be reviewed by a dentist within 24 hours. Your dentist will then decide, once he or she has assessed the problem, whether antibiotic treatment is appropriate.
The appropriate course of action is for a dentist to see the patient in order to make the correct diagnosis and provide a prescription for any necessary medication.
Doctors are trained in medicine and, with very few exceptions, have no dental training and should not, therefore, be providing dental treatment! There could be significant danger in treating a dental abscess with antibiotics without appropriate dental treatment.
In exceptional circumstances, a GP will prescribe for a dental problem, if they feel able to accept the responsibility for the ongoing management of the dental condition or can agree to share the continuing dental care with the dentist.
For further advice and help about your dental problem:
Oxfordshire Out Of Hours Emergency Dental Service
Telephone: 0845 3458995
Address: Manzil Way, Cowley, Oxfordshire, OX4 1XD
Contact NHS 111
Visit the NHS Choices website : www.nhs.uk/livewell/dentalhealth/Pages/Dentalhome
(you will also find help on this website in locating a dentist in your area)