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28 May 2022

No HSE funded dental service for Laois medical card patients

Sinn Féin TD says dental scheme in 'total collapse'

Irish dentists concerned about rise in cracked and chipped teeth as pandemic stress takes its toll

One of the lucky ones

Adults with medical cards trying to get treatment under through the HSE have no where to go to get treatment, according to Laois Offaly TD Brian Stanley.

Medical Card holders and other people are entitled to free dental treatment through the Dental Treatment Services Scheme (DTSS). Treatment under the scheme is normally provided by private dentists contracted by the HSE the Community Health Organisation (CHO).

The Sinn Féin TD says this is not working in Laois.

"This scheme has totally collapsed in Co Laois with only one dental practice doing any work under the scheme, but they will not accept any new medical card patients. There were eight dentists in Laois in the scheme this time last year.

"This means there is no service available for those medical card patients to get treatment. Private dentists across the country have left the scheme in droves," he said.

The TD said the Government and the Irish Dental Association are in negotiations, but agreement appears to be elusive. He wants the HSE to employ dentists.

"The Government and the HSE now need to face the reality that a number of directly employed dentists need to be recruited by the HSE. Good dentists will only be attracted with the offer of permanent posts.’’

“I’m calling on the Minister and the CEO of the HSE to recognise the reality that our dental services have regressed and that 40 years ago there very much better,’’ he said.

The HSE says adults (over 16 years of age) who have a valid medical card can access a range of dental services and treatments under the DTTS.

It adds that all medical card holders are entitled to specific dental treatments e.g., a dental examination, two fillings in each calendar year, extractions as necessary.

The HSE says some treatments such as the provision of dentures require the approval of the HSE before the dentist can proceed and in this case, the dentist applies directly to the HSE.

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