A centre for urgent dental treatment has opened in North Devon.

The centre will operate three days a week to help people with urgent and emergency dental conditions such as severe pain and infection.

It has been set up by NHS England and NHS Improvement, which commissions dental care under the NHS, and is in addition to a new centre in Exeter and existing ones in Plymouth and Torbay.

The centres are fully staffed and equipped to provide treatment while surgeries have their doors closed due to coronavirus.

More are likely to be announced shortly, and NHS England and NHS Improvement said North Devon is one of the priority areas for further capacity.

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 two additional centres should make a real difference for people who might otherwise have a long way to travel, especially from northern Devon, so we’re very pleased that they’re already taking referrals.”

To get access, people are advised to phone their own dentists to be assessed, as all NHS dental surgeries should be able to be contacted despite their doors being closed. If out of surgery hours, people should call NHS 111.

Those without a dentist or who are unable to get through to their usual surgery are asked to call the Devon helpline on 03330 063300.