Dental health is a part of our body’s necessities that are easily overlooked and considered minor compared to other medical needs. However, dental associations all over the world are now raising awareness about how oral health should be recognized as a vital part of our well-being and the general health of every individual. Diseases of the mouth and oral cavity have considerable health impacts in terms of pain, discomfort, impairment of function, and reduced quality of life. Let us then discover dental service organizations in Ireland and how these committees function to preserve and uphold dental health to the Irish population.
Dental care in Ireland
According to the Irish Dental Association, there are approximately 2,000 dentists practising in the country. They are found in private practice offices, HSE Dental Service, the army, and government or private hospitals. These dental professionals are what make up the dental service organisations that Ireland provides.
Dental service organizations in Ireland
Dental service organizations or DSOs in Ireland are provided by two main types of service: private dental practice and HSE or Health Service Executive dental clinics. The difference is based on how dentists choose the patients and how patients pay for their dental needs.
Private dentists have their own number of patients that seek their services by paying in cash or charging it to their medical cards.
Health Service Executive or HSE dental services, on the other hand, screen the patients based on a criteria set by the government so the dental expenses are covered or subsidised by the state. For example, children 15 years of age and below are registered in primary schools and appointments are scheduled based on the availability of the dentist and patient.
Dental service organizations: Subsidised dental treatment
There are two state schemes under which patients may receive the subsidised dental treatment.
Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI) Dental Scheme
The Dental Treatment Benefit Scheme is available to insured workers and retired people who have the required number of PRSI contributions. A PRSI contribution is a percentage of an employee’s quantifiable earnings or salary. Under this scheme, the Department of Social Protection pays the full cost of an oral examination once a year. The dental tests and procedures or treatments are provided by dentists who are on Ireland’s Department of Social Protection’s list. Most Irish dentists are on the panel, so you should not have any trouble finding one. The dentist or the Department will have application forms that you need to fill out in order to be considered. These forms require details such as the patient’s Personal Public Service Number (PPSN). If the patient is a dependent, spouse, or civil partner, he or she should give the PPSN of the insured person. Let the Department of Social Protection give you more information about this matter.
Medical Card Dental Scheme
The HSE dental clinics manage the procedure and payment scheme for medical cardholders. This services design is available for medical cardholders who are 16 years of age and above. On this scheme, private dentists who are connected with the HSE can offer and offer free dental procedures and treatments for you depending on your need and their assessment.
In 2010, the HSE made changes to the Scheme, where under the new rules, the range of dental treatments available are going to be prioritised based on their clinical necessity and priority rather than your personal desires. Dental services that are for high-risk patients (including elderly and those with special needs), as well as for patients who require advanced dental care will still be available. Aside from those, the remaining care needs are subject to prior approval, which will be required from a clinician in the HSE. Priority shall be given to high-risk patients, patients who need emergency care, and patients who are considered to have a greater clinical urgency and/or necessity in receiving care.
The Irish Dental Association advises patients to check with your local dentist who can check what treatment is available for them and what they should do to be considered.