Dental practices closed in March 2020. Since June, a steady increase in dental activity has been made possible following updated Infection Prevention and Control guidance issued by Public Health England. Contractual arrangements for quarter four have been introduced by NHS England and NHS Improvement requiring dental practices to deliver 45% of contracted units of dental activity from 1 January to 31 March 2021 to be deemed to have delivered the full contractual volume. This is expected to increase available National Health Service dental care for patients.
The Department is working closely with NHS England and NHS Improvement and the Chief Dental Officer for England to increase levels of service, as fast as is safely possible. In circumstances where patients are unable to access an urgent dental appointment directly through an NHS dental practice, they should contact NHS 111 for assistance. Over 600 urgent dental care centres remain open to help patients access care.