Dental Services

How to register with a dentist

If you are new to the area or, for any other reason, are not already registered with a dentist, you are recommended to do so. You can obtain details of NHS dentists currently registering patients by telephoning 0131 537 8444 or see our list of dentists that may currently be registering NHS patients.

If you wish to change your dentist, you should ask the new dentist whether he/she will accept you as an NHS patient. You do not have to give a reason for changing your dentist. You can consult our Dentist Finder to find a list of Dental Practices nearest to your home (Please note that this is simply a list of dentists and they may not be registering new NHS patients).

However, free ROUTINE dental treatment for unregistered patients only is available at the Edinburgh Dental Institute. See our "Free Routine Dental Treatment Poster" for more details.

The most the NHS will charge you for any complete course of treatment is £384 (correct at December 2010)

Emergency Dental Treatment

The text below provides information on access to emergency treatment for different categories of patients at different times and in different areas across Lothian.

Edinburgh, East Lothian and Midlothian

  • During the day for registered and unregistered patients
  • Evenings and weekends for registered and unregistered patients

West Lothian

  • During the day for registered and unregistered patients
  • Evenings and weekends for registered and unregistered patients

During the day - Edinburgh, East Lothian and Midlothian

Registered patients

If you are registered with a dentist, contact your dental practice. If you are not sure about the emergency arrangements at your dental practice, ask about these the next time you visit.

Unregistered patients

If you are not registered with a dentist, or are unable to contact your dentist, an emergency service for the relief of pain only is available:

Adult patients aged 16 years and over

Chalmers Dental Centre
3 Chalmers Street
Edinburgh

Monday - Thursday, 9am - 4.45pm and on Friday, 9am to 4.15pm

Chalmers Dental Centre tries to minimise waiting times to see a dentist by operating a system of triage. If you arrive at the department in need of urgent dental treatment you will first be seen by a triage nurse who will assess your symptoms and either provide you with advice or arrange for you to be seen by a dentist as soon as possible. At busy times, there may be a delay between the time you are seen by the triage nurse and the first available time that you can see a dentist. As the Centre is usually very busy you are advised to attend early in the day to allow time for this assessment and to arrange for any treatment to be carried out, if necessary.

Child patients aged under 16 years

Children's Department
Edinburgh Dental Institute
Level 3, Lauriston Building
Lauriston Place
Edinburgh

Monday to Friday 9.00-11am and 2-3.00pm

Patients from West Lothian who are able to travel, may also attend Chalmers Dental Centre.

Evening & Weekends - Edinburgh, East Lothian and Midlothian

Registered patients

If you are registered with a dentist, phone your dental practice. All NHS dentists have arrangements in place to provide cover for their registered patients.

Registered patients of the Lothian Community Dental Service/Salaried Primary Care Dental Service

If you are a patient of the Lothian Community Dental Service or Salaried Primary Care Dental Service, you should contact the dental clinic which you would normally attend to arrange urgent dental care. Similarly, all Community Dental Clinics will have a telephone answering service explaining arrangements for accessing care when the clinic is closed.

Unregistered patients

If you are unregistered please telephone the Lothian Dental Advice Line: Tel 0131 536 4800

Lothian Dental Advice line is operational in the evenings and at weekends to offer advice or to arrange for you to receive urgent dental care. A dental nurse adviser will take your call and assess the urgency of your symptoms in a similar way to the triage nursing system at Chalmers Dental Centre (above).

The emergency service does not treat minor problems, e.g. lost crowns, lost or broken fillings where there is no pain.

During the day - West Lothian

Registered Patients

Contact own practice for advice

Unregistered Patients

If you are not registered with a dentist you should approach one of the dental practices in the area or if you are able to travel, attend Chalmers Dental Centre as above.

Evening & Weekends - West Lothian

All patients

Telephone NHS 24 on 111
Mon-Fri 6.00pm - 8.00am, and Friday 6.00pm to Monday 8.00am

The emergency service does not treat minor problems, e.g. lost crowns, lost or broken fillings where there is no pain.

Charges for emergency dental treatment

You will be charged the standard NHS fee for any dental treatment you receive, so please bring a means of payment with you.

You will not have to pay if you are usually exempt from charges, but you will need to bring the correct form of proof with you. People normally exempt include those under 16, (18 and under if in full time education); and women who are pregnant or who have given birth in the past 12 months. You may be exempt if you receive certain state benefits. For more information, read "Are you entitled to help with health costs?" a leaflet you can pick up when visiting your GP or dentist.

Emergency treatment for the relief of pain rarely exceeds £30.

Community Dental Service

Anyone who finds it hard to access a dentist because they are housebound or because of special needs or a disability should contact the community dental service at:
Duncan Street Dental Centre
16 Duncan Street
Edinburgh
EH9 1SR
Phone: 0131 667 7114

More information on Dental Services and how to find a Dentist in NHS Lothian is available on our main Dental Services page.

Last Reviewed: 02/05/2014