Emergency Dental Care
If you have an urgent dental problem, the following information is a guide to accessing NHS Lothian services which can provide short-notice dental advice and treatment.
Please read the information below to find out who to contact, depending on
- what time of day or night it is
- whether or not you are already registered with a dentist
Edinburgh, East Lothian, West Lothian and Midlothian:
Monday to Friday, 9am – 6pm
» registered with a dentist » adults and children/young person » phone the practice or clinic for advice on access to emergency dental care
» not registered with a dentist » adults and children/young person » attend the ‘Walk-in’ dental service at Chalmers Dental Centre, 3 Chalmers Street, Edinburgh EH3 9EW. For 'same-day' care, you should attend before 3pm.
Monday to Friday evenings from 6pm, weekends and public holidays
» registered with a dentist » adults and children/young person » phone the practice or clinic and listen fully to the voicemail instruction on how to access out-of-hours emergency dental care
» not registered with a dentist » adults and children/young person » contact NHS24 by calling 111
2017 NHS Lothian Public Holidays:
The following dates are recognised NHS Lothian Public Holidays in 2017:
- Friday 14th April
- Monday 17th April
- Monday 1st May
- Monday 18th September
- Monday 25th December
- Tuesday 26th December
The ‘Walk-in’ dental service at Chalmers Dental Centre for Unregistered Patients
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 emergency or urgent dental care 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. If you are already registered with a dentist, the triage nurse will arrange for you to be seen by your own practice.
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 often 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. The centre opens at 9am, Monday to Friday and 'walk-in' patients should arrive before 3pm for 'same-day' care.
Adults over the age of 18yrs of age will be charged the standard NHS dental charge for any dental treatment received, so please bring a means of payment with you. This can be cash, cheque, debit or credit card. The exact amount that you may be required to pay will vary depending on the NHS charge which applies for any treatment you have received. As a guide, NHS charges for emergency dental treatment rarely exceed £50 and more usually are in the region of £10 - £30.
You will not have to pay NHS dental charges, however, if you are exempt from payment. Certain state benefits automatically confer this exemption but you should bring evidence of the benefit that you receive. Alternatively, if you have a current valid HC2 or HC3 certificate conferring full or partial exemption from charges, you should bring this instead. Pregnant mothers, mothers who have given birth in the preceding 12months and 18yr old adults in full-time education are also entitled to exemption from dental charges.
You can find more information in the Scottish Government document ‘Help with Health Costs’