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22.04.2020

Two new Devon urgent dental treatment centres open

Two new centres for urgent dental treatment have opened in Devon to improve coverage and reduce journey time for patients during the covid-19 pandemic.

The two are located in Exeter (operating five days a week) and Barnstaple in North Devon (operating three days a week).

These are in addition to the existing centres at Plymouth and Torbay, which started work earlier this month.

Both have been set up by NHS England and NHS Improvement – which commissions NHS dental care – as part of a wider network across the South West.

Further centres are likely to be announced shortly to bring urgent treatment closer to home for more people in the region. Northern Devon is one of the priority areas for the creation of further capacity.

The network is designed to help people with urgent and emergency dental conditions, including severe pain and infection.

They are fully staffed and equipped to provide treatment while high-street surgeries have their doors closed due to covid-19 (coronavirus).

To get access, people should phone their own dentist to be assessed. All NHS dental surgeries should be contactable, even while their doors are closed.

Out of usual surgery hours, people should call NHS111.

Those without a dentist or who cannot get through to their usual surgery should call their local helpline on 03330 063300 or email accessdentalhelpline@nhs.net.

The initial phone assessment will help the dentist decide whether someone needs to be seen immediately or within 24 hours, or can be booked in later for an appointment.

Conditions needing immediate treatment might include:

  • Dental infection/fever/swelling, especially if it might affect the airway
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Injury

In some cases, treatment would be needed in hospital.

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