Spotlight on dental services

Since the start of the pandemic, we have had a constant stream of feedback about NHS dental services.
Dentists during a pandemic

130 people have been in touch to share their experience of trying to get NHS dental care since March. Whilst some of them have been positive stories, the majority are from people struggling to get dental treatment. 

Nearly 2,100 people have come to us to find information on how to get an NHS dentist too, demonstrating the growing need for NHS dental care. 

You can read all the feedback in our report below but the key themes were:

People talked to us about how hard they found it to get an NHS dentist, both before and after the government announced the re-opening of dental practices from 8 June 2020

We heard from people struggling to get appointments with their dentist and long waiting times

Callers raised concerns about the quality of the service received

We heard about the absence of PPE within NHS dental practices

People shared their concerns about the cost of going to a private dentist because they couldn’t get NHS treatment

The confusion that people experienced about how to get a dentist appointment was clear

Have you been to the dentist recently or have you not managed to get an appointment?

Tell us your story. All your feedback is used to help improve the service for other people.

Share your experience HERE


Healthwatch Kent Spotlight on Dental Care during a pandemic
Healthwatch England report on dentistry 2020-2021

Getting an NHS dental appointment 

Covid-19 has meant that changes have had to be made to your dental surgery. Whilst many practices are now open again, extra cleaning and social distancing means that you may have to wait longer than usual to get an appointment.

To get the help you need you can:

  • Phone your dentist to get information about their opening hours and advice on where you can go to get the care you need.
  • Remember you don’t need to be registered with a dentist in the same way as you do with your GP. You can see any NHS dentist.
  • If you don’t have a dentist or your dentist is closed, you can phone NHS 111. Translation services are available. 
  • If you are deaf or hard of hearing visit

We have more advice and information for you in our article here

To read our leaflet about dental costs and exemptions click here

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