Long orthodontic lists could lead to bigger problems down the road – Smyth

Published on: 19 October 2017

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Niamh Smyth says hundreds of children are facing serious dental problems unless orthodontic waiting lists are tackled.  New figures from the Oireachtas Health Committee reveal that 175 children in the North West are waiting more than a year for an appointment.

Deputy Smyth commented, “This is an issue that I have been raising for some time, and which unfortunately does not appear to be getting any better.  The waiting list figures in themselves are worrying, but what is of greater concern is the fact that delaying essential treatment at an early stage will cause greater problems down the road.

“I have been contacted by parents, worried that the primary school dental scheme is not being rolled out in their schools.  This is a particular problem in rural areas and it ties in with dental staffing shortages across the North West region.  I regularly hear of cases where children are told they need treatment and are then left waiting for years before it is carried out.

“Early intervention must be made a priority and I am calling on Minister Harris to ensure that the HSE Service Plan for 2018 puts a special emphasis on tackling waiting lists and timely treatment provision”.

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