If you have already searched for NHS dentists near you taking on new NHS patients and cannot find any close enough for you to travel to then you should work your way through the following 6 steps:
1. Help fix NHS dentistry by writing to your MP
NHS dentistry is limited by design, so please write to your MP and tell them the system is not good enough. Tell them about your difficulties finding a dentist. Tell them that you will be voting for a party with detailed policies on how they will improve access to NHS dentistry. Read more ideas of what to say and find out how to easily write to your MP.
2. Ask practices to update their NHS profile
If any dentists on your list are no longer taking on new NHS patients, please politely ask them to update their NHS profile. Correct information from dentists will help give you and others a more useful and up-to-date list.
Some NHS dental practices are currently required by the NHS to keep their status permanently set to “accepting new patients” even after their so-called “quota” of new patients has already been met. If you think it would be more useful for these practices to update their status once they have met their quota then please contact NHS England to let them know.
3. Ask NHS England for help
NHS England is responsible for direct commissioning of primary care dental services, so you should contact NHS England to ask them to find you an NHS dentist.
4. Complain to NHS England
If NHS England were unable to help then you should make a complaint and ask again for help finding an NHS dentist.
5. Complain to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
If you are unhappy with the response from your complaint to NHS England, then you can escalate your complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.
6. Consider paying for private dental treatment
You could find a private dentist to help you, but be aware you will incur the full cost of your dental treatment (either upfront or with a payment plan) since there is no subsidy from public funds for private dental treatment.