PATIENTS in need of urgent dental care will now be able to access a new treatment service following a region-wide shake-up of dental provision.

The new system offers an appointment only service and and there will no longer be a ‘drop-in’ dental service in Bury or at any other location in Greater Manchester.

Urgent services have also been axed at the Moorgate Primary Care Centre in Silver Street.

Instead patients will have to call an Urgent Dental Care Service phone number ­— 0333 332 3800 ­— and will then be assessed by a member of the clinical team, and if necessary given advice and an appointment.

The line is open from 8am to 10pm everyday, including weekends and Bank Holidays, and the service operates appointments from 20 different locations across Greater Manchester, including in Bury.

Patients will then be able to choose to be seen at locations most convenient for them.

However patients with a regular dentist should not use the Urgent Dental Care Service number during normal surgery hours.

The service also operates according to strict clinical criteria and the NHS defines urgent dental problems as including the following symptoms:

- Dental and soft-tissue infections

- Severe dental and facial pain: that is, pain that cannot be controlled by the patient following self-help advice

- Fractured teeth or tooth

Each one-off urgent dental care appointment is then charged at the fixed Band 1 NHS patient charge of £22.70, which patients will have to pay every time they access the services.

A Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership spokesperson said: “The Greater Manchester Urgent Dental Care and Clinical Service launched on October 1.

“The new service means there is now a single phone number for anyone in need of urgent dental care in Greater Manchester, regardless of which area they live in.

“Patients can phone the service any day of the year between 8am and 10pm. Outside of these hours people can still call NHS 111 for advice. Patients who have a regular dentist are encouraged to contact them in the first instance.”

“If required, patients will be offered a same day or next day appointment, at a location that is convenient for them.

“All Greater Manchester residents can use the service.”

For help to find an NHS dentist visit