Coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting provision of emergency dental services in Greater Manchester.
Availability of emergency appointments is very limited.
Find out how you can improve access to NHS dentistry.
Manchester Urgent Dental Care Service 0333 332 3800
Available every day 8:00-22:00 including weekends and bank holidays.
How to get help, advice or an NHS emergency dental appointment in Greater Manchester
- Managing dental problems at home
- When and how to get help
- Complaints about the Manchester Emergency Dental Service
- Find out how to improve access to NHS dentistry
How to manage dental problems at home
Most toothaches can be controlled with use of painkillers bought over the counter from a pharmacist. Paracetamol and ibuprofen taken together or separately are very effective for most dental and oral pain. If you are unsure if it is safe for you take ibuprofen or paracetamol (e.g. if you have an allergy, asthma sensitive to NSAIDs, stomach ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, heart failure, or you are pregnant) or you already know you are unable to use them, then ask your pharmacist for advice or visit the NHS 111 website.
- Paracetamol is available to buy over the counter in supermarkets and pharmacies. Shop own brands are usually the best value. You can also buy paracetamol online from a pharmacist (or from Amazon: Panadol tablets, Calpol SixPlus, Calpol Infant).
- Ibuprofen is available to buy over the counter in supermarkets and pharmacies. Shop own brands are usually the best value. You can also buy ibuprofen online from a pharmacist (or from Amazon: Nurofen tablets, Nurofen for Children).
Temporary fillings and cement
Temporary filling and cement kits are available to buy for use at home and may be of some help for some conditions like a lost filling or crown.
You can read online guides for managing the following dental and oral conditions at home:
When and how to get help
If you have persistent bleeding that does not stop even after applying pressure (by biting on rolled up kitchen roll) for 60 minutes, or severe swelling in or around your mouth, eyes, face or neck then you can attend your local accident and emergency department for provision of emergency medical treatment. Please note that hospitals are unable to provide dental treatment and toothache does not require emergency medical treatment! If you are unsure if your issues require emergency medical treatment then visit the NHS 111 website for help and advice.
Toothache, broken/lost/loose fillings/crowns/caps/bridges/dentures, sore gums, sensitivity, small swellings and bleeding gums are all issues that would need dental (not medical) attention so you should try to access dentist using the most appropriate route below:
During the night, at weekends and on bank holidays
NHS Emergency Dentist Manchester – Out of Hours
Most NHS dentists are only contracted to provide emergency dental appointments during normal open hours. This leaves patients wondering how to get help when their practice is closed.
Rather than individual dentists providing out of hours emergency cover, the NHS provides the Greater Manchester Urgent Dental Care Service. This service offers emergency appointments, help, and advice for everyone in Greater Manchester: regardless of whether you are registered with an NHS dentist, a private dentist or not registered with a dentist.
Call the Greater Manchester Urgent Dental Care Service on 0333 332 3800 for advice and to book an emergency dental appointment with an NHS emergency dentist if appropriate. This telephone service is available to residents of Greater Manchester as well as temporary visitors to the area. Lines are open every day 8:00-22:00 including weekends and on Bank Holidays.
Patients meeting set criteria are offered a 20 minute appointment at a choice of locations across all 10 Greater Manchester localities, from 9:00 to 21:00 Monday to Friday and from 9:00 to 13:00 over weekends and Bank Holidays. Daytime appointments are only provided for patients not registered with a dentist, but evening, weekend, and bank holiday appointments are available to all. Patients not meeting the criteria for an appointment will be offered advice where possible.
Unfortunately the NHS in Greater Manchester no longer provides access to dental help and advice between 22:00-8:00. If you can, then wait until the morning and call the number above. If you need help or advice between 22:00-8:00 then you can visit the NHS 111 website at any time of the day or night.
During the daytime on weekdays
NHS Emergency Dentist Manchester – for Non Registered Patients During Open Hours
Most NHS dentists are only contracted to provide emergency dental appointments to their registered patients. This leaves patients not registered with a dentist wondering how to access emergency dental appointments.
If you are not a registered with a dental practice and you need help then you can get urgent help and advice from the Greater Manchester Urgent Dental Care Service on 0333 332 3800. This service is available every day 8:00-22:00 including weekends and on Bank Holidays.
Find a dentist to register with
You should also register with a dental practice so that in the future you can access urgent help more easily. One of the easiest ways to find a NHS dentist accepting new patients is to search on the Dental Choices website.
Registered Patients During Open Hours
If you are a registered patient at a dental practice you should call your practice for help and advice during their open hours. If you are registered with Burton Dental Care then please read how coronavirus is affecting our dental services for more information on when and how to get help.
Emergency NHS Dentists in Other Regions
To find out how to access an emergency NHS dentist in other regions of England visit the Dental Choices guide on how to see an emergency NHS dentist.
Via the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, NHS England has commissioned a private company called the ‘Greater Manchester Urgent Primary Care Alliance’ to provide the Greater Manchester Urgent Dental Care Telephony Service. Complaints about the Manchester Out of Hours Dental Service could therefore initially be directed to:
- Your treating dentist at the clinic you attend
- Greater Manchester Urgent Primary Care Alliance CIC (the private company providing the telephony service)
- The Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership (the NHS in Greater Manchester)
- NHS England
- Your local MP
In some circumstances it may appropriate to escalate your complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, The Care Quality Commission, the General Dental Council, or the police. To find out the most appropriate route for your complaint (and for more links to the correct places), visit Dental Choices’ guide on making and escalating dental complaints.
Improve Access to NHS dentistry
If you are feeling frustrated at how difficult it is to see an NHS dentist, you can find out what you can do to improve access to NHS dentistry.