Skip to main content


NHS General Dental Services 

From April 1st 2023, NHS dental practices can choose to take on the new dental contract reform or go back to the old dental contract. In Gwent, approximately 51% of NHS dental practices have decided to take on the new Contract. When you go for your next dental appointment, you can ask which contract the practice is following.

Listed below are the changes that patients will notice if the dental practice has chosen the new dental contract reform:

  • Once a year a patient will have a dental risk assessment carried out as part of a check-up. This is called an ACORN and you will be told if the score is Green, Amber or Red. The dental team will discuss the findings with you and explain how you can improve your oral health that improves your score to become Green. The score of your ACORN will also help determine when you should be seen again by a member of the dental team.

Sometimes your ACORN score can change and the time between check-ups may be longer or shorter. The dental team will advise on this. By supporting dentists to determine your recall interval, it enables you to receive care appropriately, based on your individual needs. 

  • All adults who have Amber or Red score for dental decay will be advised to have fluoride varnish applied by the dental team to try and prevent further dental decay of teeth
  • All children aged over 3 years and under the age of 3 who have Amber or Red score for dental decay will be advised to have fluoride varnish applied at every check-up appointment
  • Each week the practice will be taking on new patients. The number of new patients will depend on the contract size
  • Each week the practice will be able to offer urgent appointments to new patients

If you have been seen by a practice for a routine course of treatment since April 2019, then the practice is able to see you as a patient or if you have an urgent dental problem.


NHS Orthodontic Services 

The Welsh Government has written to all NHS orthodontic practices to let them know what types of patients they can provide orthodontic care.

Before COVID19 pandemic, patients were assessed for orthodontic care using an Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need. if the score was 3.6 or above then NHS orthodontic care could be provided. This is still the case, but Orthodontic practices now have to prioritise those patients with a score of 4 or more and includes anyone on a waiting list.

Orthodontic practices are working hard to assess patients that require orthodontic treatment and commence treatment. The Orthodontic practice will make contact with patients referred in due course when they are able to offer an appointment. 

Urgent Care

If you have a dental problem that has not improved with painkillers, a dental infection or a lump, swelling or ulcer that has not disappeared after 2 weeks you are advised to phone your dental practice.

If you do not regularly attend a dental practice, please contact the Dental Helpline on 01633 744387, which is open Monday – Friday, 9:00am-12:15pm and 1:15pm-4:00pm. Patients should be advised that If they call the Dental Helpline for urgent dental care in the evenings (6.30pm-8am) they will receive advice only as there are no dental appointments available at this time. During weekends and Bank Holiday’s patients can also contact the Dental Helpline where a limited number of urgent appointments are available at Clytha Clinic, Newport and/or advice can be obtained.  

Patients can also go to their local community pharmacy to ask about pain relief and advice on over the counter medication.