Updated: Dentistry – A Healthwatch guide to your rights and accessing the treatment you need

July 20, 2022

Over the last two years, dentistry has been one of the most common reasons people have contacted Healthwatch East Sussex. Reasons have included challenges accessing dentistry services during the lockdown, problems finding NHS dentists accepting new patients and delays getting access to emergency dental treatment.

One of the key lessons for Healthwatch has been that many members of the public, including those who regularly attend dental services, are not clear on what dentistry services are available via the NHS, what treatment is included and what charges apply.

We have heard stories of people paying more than they should, experiencing long delays for treatment, and difficulty finding help if they have an urgent dental problem.

In response, Healthwatch across Sussex (East Sussex/West Sussex/Brighton & Hove) have worked together on a detailed guide to help everyone get the treatment they need.

This explains:

  • How a recent announcement made by NHS England about reforms to the NHS dental contract should improve access for patients
  • The impact of COVID-19 on NHS dental appointments
  • The difference between NHS and private dental care
  • How to find and register with an NHS dentist
  • NHS dental charges and exemptions
  • How to feedback or complain about a dental service
  • Useful links and emergency dental services

We hope the guide will answer most of your questions about NHS dental care. There are also some useful tips about keeping teeth and gums healthy.

For more information, please also see our website articles on NHS dentistry – what you need to know and Top ten tips when accessing NHS dentistry.

Visit our website and sign up to our mailing list for more news and information about dentists and other health or care services.

Tell us about your contact with dental services

We are very keen to hear about how dental services are working for you. Which services have you been in contact with? Did you get help for any dental problems?

Good or bad, please tell us about your experience by leaving a review on our Feedback Centre, our Contact Us page or by sharing your views with our Information and Signposting team.

Telephone: 0333 101 4007

Text: 07860 018613

Email: enquiries@healthwatcheastsussex.co.uk

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