From today (Friday 29 April) people living in Somerset, who are not registered with a dental practice, should call NHS 111 if they need urgent treatment or advice. Following an initial call with a call handler, the person may be put through to a dental nurse who will advise on next steps. This could range from general self-care advice to an urgent appointment being booked within 48 hours.
People should call 111 if they are suffering with severe dental pain that cannot be controlled with over the counter medication or have a dental or soft tissue infection.
Welcoming the news, Dr Peter Wilson, Commissioning Medical Director at NHS England and NHS Improvement South West, said: “The new service will benefit the people of Somerset and supports the process of accessing urgent dental treatment. “With the introduction of a dental nurse people can feel confident they are receiving advice from a healthcare professional in that field.”
The new helpline will be operated by Smile Dental Triage Ltd, a clinically led specialist in dental triage, who have provided a high-quality service for more than 15 years. The new service will operate from 8am until 10pm, 365 days a year.
The old helpline number will no longer be in use from 8pm tonight (Thursday 28 April). A voice message will ask anyone who calls to redial NHS 111.