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Frequently Asked Questions

A woman having her teeth examined at a dental practice
Frequently Asked Questions about Dental Services

Since 2006, there is no need to register with a dentist in the same way as with a GP because you are not bound to a catchment area.

Once you find a dental surgery, you may have to fill in a registration form at your first visit, which is just to add you to their patient database, this is not a NHS registration form.

Dentists will often offer appointments to patients who have attended historically or regularly, but this will depend capacity at the time.

Contact a dental practice that is convenient for you and ask for an appointment.

If the practice is not able to offer an appointment, you can ask to join their waiting list. There is no limit to the number of waiting lists you can join.

To find an NHS dental practice in your area you can use the Find Your Local Dentist tool.

Alternatively, follow this link to access a full list of dental practices in the Swansea Bay area.

Dental Services follow the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines on how often a patient needs a routine check-up.

If you have been used to attending your dental practice every six months for a check-up, this may now change for you.

The time between your check-ups will be determined by how healthy your teeth and gums are.

Your dentist will discuss this with you and advise on the length of time needed until your next check-up.

When you attend your dental practice for a check-up, your teeth and gums will be assessed and your dentist will likely carry out an Assessment of Clinical Oral Risk and Need (ACORN).

This assessment will put you into one of three categories, dependent on your current oral health:

Red = Active decay

Amber = At risk of decay

Amber and Red patients will likely be asked to attend a check-up every three, six or nine months to ensure that any active oral health issues are picked up and treated promptly. You will also be given advice on how to improve your oral health.

Green = Low risk, no decay

Green patients have a good standard of oral health and will only be asked to attend a check-up every 12 months or longer.

Some patients can have free NHS dental treatment such as those under 18 or those who are pregnant or have had a baby within the 12 months before the treatment starts.

Follow this link to the Welsh Government website for full details on whether you are entitled to free NHS dental treatment.

Before your dental treatment begins, your dentist or member of the practice team should discuss the treatment required and the relevant charge. 

The amount you pay will depend on the treatment that is needed and will be one of the three standard charges below:

Band 1 £20 – This charge will include an examination, diagnosis and preventative care. If necessary this will include:

  • X-rays
  • Oral health advice
  • Planning for further treatment

Band 2 £60 – this charge includes all necessary treatment covered by the Band 1 £20 charge plus:

  • Additional fillings
  • Root canal treatments
  • Extractions
  • Periodontal treatment (for gum disease)

Band 3 £260 – this charge includes all necessary treatment covered by the £20 and £60 charges plus more complex procedures such as:

  • Crowns
  • Dentures
  • Bridges

Urgent care £30

This will include an assessment, diagnosis and preventative care. If necessary, it will include x-rays and any treatment necessary to prevent significant deterioration of the presenting condition or to address severe pain.

Follow this link to the Welsh Government website for more information on NHS dental charges.

If you have a regular dentist and are experiencing dental pain, you should contact your dental practice for advice on how to manage your pain and where appropriate you should be provided with an urgent appointment. 

If you do not have a regular dentist or have an urgent dental problem outside of normal working hours, please call 111 for advice and help in finding an urgent dental appointment if required.

Follow this link to find further details about the Urgent Dental Service.

If you have a complaint relating to the care you have received by your dental practice, you should raise these concerns directly with the practice within 12 months of it occurring.

If you do not want to speak to the practice, you can contact the Complaints Team at the Health Board.

Follow this link to find details on how to contact our Complaints Team.

If you are not satisfied with the response to your complaint, you can contact the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales who are independent.

Follow this link to find details on how to contact the Ombudsman.

Dental practices will not always have the capacity to offer NHS patients suitable appointments, as their contracted NHS availability is limited to the size of their NHS contract.

Beyond this practices may offer private appointments to their patients, as most are a mixed economy of NHS and private care.

The practice should offer you the next available NHS appointment, however as they are a mixed practice you may be offered a private alternative as well.

Rydym yn croesawu gohebiaeth a galwadau ffôn yn y Gymraeg neu'r Saesneg. Atebir gohebiaeth Gymraeg yn y Gymraeg, ac ni fydd hyn yn arwain at oedi. Mae’r dudalen hon ar gael yn Gymraeg drwy bwyso’r botwm ar y dde ar frig y dudalen.

We welcome correspondence and telephone calls in Welsh or English. Welsh language correspondence will be replied to in Welsh, and this will not lead to a delay. This page is available in Welsh by clicking ‘Cymraeg’ at the top right of this page.