These are in addition to the existing centre at Bodmin, which started work earlier this month.
Both have been set up by NHS England and NHS Improvement – which commissions NHS dental care – as part of a wider network across the south west. Further centres are likely to be announced shortly to bring urgent treatment closer to home for more people.
The network is designed to help people with urgent and emergency dental conditions, including severe pain and infection.
They are fully staffed and equipped to provide treatment while high-street surgeries have their doors closed due to COVID-19 (coronavirus).
To get access, people should phone their own dentist to be assessed. All NHS dental surgeries should be contactable, even while their doors are closed.
Out of usual surgery hours, people should call NHS 111.
Those without a dentist or who cannot get through to their usual surgery should:
The initial phone assessment will help the dentist decide whether someone needs to be seen immediately or within 24 hours, or can be booked in later for an appointment.
Conditions needing immediate treatment might include:
- dental infection/fever/swelling, especially if it might affect the airway
- uncontrolled bleeding
In some cases, treatment would be needed in hospital.
Ian Biggs, director of primary care and public health for NHS England and NHS Improvement in the south west, said: “The urgent dental system for the whole of the south west is up and running, with patients receiving treatment across the region.
“These 2 additional centres should make a real difference for people who might otherwise have a long way to travel, so we’re very pleased that they’re now able to take referrals.”