Enforcing health care has been a struggle over the last year or so, with the increase in emergencies and patients attending hospitals for dental related issues. This is partially because with limitations on movement and general caution about travel, dental checkups are being ignored or limited school interactions restricting the in-education screening process.
One thing that has been challenging is trying to decipher exactly when dental care is an emergency or not. It can seem simple when you are in great discomfort to recognise that you require emergency care. But the reason why dental checkups exist in the first place is that it is possible to require intervention to prevent the loss of a tooth without necessarily having any obvious symptoms.
Clinics continue to provide their patients with root canals, crowns, trauma repairs, replacements for lost fillings and cavity filling services. If you are not registered with a dental team, the only option for you would be to attend hospitals via their A&E.
The dental checkups normally carried out in schools have been disrupted and can be circumvented with in-clinic checks if your child is suffering from symptoms. Depending on the clinic, this may result in incurring a fee, which may create a further delay and add to the burden on hospitals.
If you can in anyway avoid attending your A&E this should. There are many fine dentists available who are likely to see patients faster and with the same care and attention. But if you are unable to find a dental surgery that is open, then please seek out care from your nearest dentist Navan.
Note on dental cardholders
There is a trend amongst patients to avoid dental care at their clinic because of costs. Many clinics do not accept medical cards provided under the dental treatment services scheme, but those that do can be found with a relatively simple Google search.
There are ongoing attempts to reform the way social dentistry is provided in Ireland and to encourage wider adoption in clinics. This has been an ongoing campaign, although it has become likely to gain traction after the surge in during recent prices.
Cardholders are entitled to two fillings, as many extractions as are necessary and free emergency dental treatment to relieve pain and stabilize their condition; however, applications for a dental card have to be made before the emergency, not retrospectively. Medical cardholders are not entitled to restorative care.
The vast majority of care, particularly children's care, has to be approved by the local principal dental officer in their professional capacity as part of the HSE. However, for the foreseeable future and because of the demand greatly outstripping supply, care has been isolated to those in clinically high-risk groups or those who have been deemed disabled.
So if you are trying to gain healthcare as a dental cardholder, always double-check whether the clinic will accept dental cards to minimize unnecessary travel and additional costs. A dental checkup may be far less than you expect.