Written answers

Thursday, 9 September 2021

Photo of Éamon Ó CuívÉamon Ó Cuív (Galway West, Fianna Fail)
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1381. To ask the Minister for Health the measures that are being put in place to ensure that medical card holders have access to services under the dental treatment scheme; if his attention has been drawn to the increasing difficulties that medical card holders have in accessing services and treatment given that a significant number of dental practices are opting out of the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42645/21]

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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Dentists must give three months' notice of withdrawal from the Dental Treatment Services Scheme (DTSS). I expect dentists to continue to honour their ethical and contractual obligations to patients, including during their notice period, to provide a service or to ensure that patients are referred to another dentist who will provide a service. HSE local services will assist anyone experiencing problems in accessing a service.

The DTSS makes available the following dental treatments to medical card holders: Oral examination; Prophylaxis (scale and polish); Restorations (fillings); Exodontics (extractions); Surgical extractions; Miscellaneous (e.g. control of haemorrhage); Endodontics (root canal therapy); Apicectomy (amputation of roots); Protracted periodontal (gum) treatment; Radiographs; Prosthetics (dentures). These treatments are provided by independent dental practitioners who have a contract with the HSE. Some are available on demand, for example, all medical card holders may avail of specific dental treatments e.g., a dental examination, two fillings in each calendar year, extractions, as necessary.

The remaining care provision is subject to the prior approval of a dental surgeon in the HSE, who prioritises for high risk and exceptional patients; those requiring emergency care and patients considered to have greater clinical urgency and/or necessity in receiving care.


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