I am a EU national and UK resident. I need dental care but no GP care. I understand that a GP can provide me with an NHS number. Do I need to register with a GP in order to get an NHS number in order to get NHS-priced dental care? Or is this not needed, and can the dentist provide me with an NHS number — or do I not need an NHS number at all for dental care?

  • In case you're unaware, the dentist is not covered on the NHS unless you're under 18. Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 23:27
  • @DannyBeckett I'm confused. Do this NHS page and this private dentist page relate only to minors? There is no mention on either page that it is only applicable to children. Nor on this private page mentioning both NHS and private prices. What am I missing?
    – gerrit
    Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 10:29
  • What I mean is, with the exception of prescriptions, all non-dental NHS treatment is free. E.g. if you go to the doctors or A&E it is always free. The dentist is not. But you seem to have found the charges on the first link anyway. At the top of that page it has a link "Who is entitled to free treatment", which goes on to say children and those on Jobseekers Allowance. So the fact it's chargeable is what I meant by it's not covered on the NHS. Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 10:43
  • 2
    @DannyBeckett Right. It's not free, but it's still heavily subsidised, far cheaper than private treatment, and also far cheaper than any adult dental care I've had anywhere else. So I'd say it's still covered, just with a modest copayment.
    – gerrit
    Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 10:45
  • Even if you don't need a GP right now, you should register with one so that when you do need them you can just ring them up and go and see them without administrative hassles at a time you're feeling ill!
    – A E
    Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 13:48

1 Answer 1


To get any kind of NHS treating the easiest way is to get a GP. You should be able to find one in your area quickly, and registration takes around 30 minutes. Not having a GP means that even if you are entitled to NHS care, you can get into problems. They usually ask for your NI number (which is different to your NHS number) when registering with a GP, and once you do, you will get your NHS number a bit later by post.

A dentist is not a GP. Actually, when I first registered at my dentist, they handed me a form, and one of the questions on the form was the address of my GP. They didn't need my NHS number nor my NI number (and they usually don't expect you to remember those).

With this in mind, you should definitely get a GP in your area. Once you do you can just go to the dentist and register there as well. The name and address of the GP should be enough. You should already have an NI number though.

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