The President of the HSE Dental Surgeon group within the Irish Dental Association described the current service as ‘reactionary’ rather than preventative as too many children are now being left with untreated tooth decay.
An article in the Evening Herald recently highlighted the crisis that parents are facing in County Meath due to long waiting lists and the effect this is having on children’s health.
Children of Primary School age are being left untreated for up to 15 months because of a crisis in the public dental services.
A simple tooth extraction can take months, said Iseult Bouarroudj, president of the HSE Dental Surgeon group within the Irish Dental Association.
“Compared to 10 years ago when every school child was seen every year, the service is failing our primary school children, special needs patients and teenagers.”
Ms Bouarroudj pointed to a “huge increase” in dental emergencies which need “extensive treatment and extractions” because the decay had not been spotted earlier.
“In some areas, children are only being seen at sixth class, which is far too late for any preventative measures to be carried out,” she added.
There are just 350 public service dentists who see more than 250,000 children every year.
Ms Bouarroudj called on the Irish Government to lift the embargo on recruitment within the service.
She also stressed the need for early preventive measure like fissure sealants which “are of vital importance in the management of a sound dentition. In many areas even this procedure is being missed”.
Parents don’t often take young children to the dentist unless they are experiencing a problem, however children who visit the dentist at least once a year tend to grow healthier mouths , requiring less treatment and as a result of this are better educated in oral health.
Many dentists recommend that children benefit from early preventive measures like fissure sealants. Sealants, placed on sound healthy teeth are vital in managing and maintaining sound dentition in future years.
Staff at Boyne Dental in County Meath highly recommends that your children have regular dental checkups. “As they say prevention is better than cure and our goal is to prevent or minimise the need for your child to undergo dental treatment.
“We are happy to take time to allay any anxieties that your child may have when visiting the dentist. We want to encourage a positive attitude to good oral health from an early age. We hope to dispel a fear of dentists so that regular check-ups become the norm for the of their life”
If you are looking for a family friendly dentist in Meath where your child can visit contact the dental team at Boyne Dental on +35316971207.