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  • Northside East

Local TD demands action on orthodontic waiting lists

Wednesday, 15th November, 2017 1:00pm
Local TD demands action on  orthodontic waiting lists

Concern has been expressed over the orthodontic waiting list. PHOTO: BIGSTOCK

Local TD demands action on  orthodontic waiting lists

Concern has been expressed over the orthodontic waiting list. PHOTO: BIGSTOCK

THERE are 890 people on the orthodontic waiting list for over 12 months in the Dublin North City and County area.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) confirmed the figures to Northside People last week. It said orthodontic referral and diagnosis typically takes place at age 12-13 years approximately. 

However, it said average wait times is not an accurate reflection of how long a particular child will wait for treatment.  

“Referrals are dealt with on the basis of the requirement for urgent or routine treatment - with access to routine treatment generally dealt with sequentially from the waiting list,” said a HSE spokesperson.  

“It should be noted that patients may occasionally need to wait some time for clinical reasons such as completion of linked corrective surgery or maturation of jaw and tooth development before commencing orthodontic treatment.   

“For instance, some children are not offered a treatment place until they are 16-years-of-age due to growth factors which may affect their outcome.”

The HSE said nationally, a waiting list initiative to deal with long waiting times for access to orthodontic treatment commenced in 2016, and to date has enabled treatment for an additional 1,180 of the longest waiting patients.

“This initiative is continuing in 2017,” the spokesperson said.

“The intention is to progressively address the issue of orthodontic waiting times thereafter through a combination of local services and focused waiting list initiatives over time and as resources permit.”

The HSE pointed out that there is also a EU Cross Border Directive available to patients. This is a treatment option which parents may choose of their own volition in order for their children to receive orthodontic treatment. For details, visit www.hse.ie/crossborderdirective

Dublin Bay North TD Sean Haughey (FF) said hundreds of children are facing serious dental problems unless more effort is made to tackle the growing orthodontic waiting lists.

“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,” said Deputy Haughey. 

“As we all know, dental care and the timing of orthodontic treatment in young children is crucial and when dental problems are identified, they must be dealt with as soon as possible to avoid any long-term damage.

“I have been contacted by parents, worried that the primary school dental scheme is not being rolled out in their schools, to make matters worse their child has been placed on a list that continues to lengthen. These parents are waiting on a phone call that never comes. I regularly hear of cases where children are told they need treatment and are then left waiting for years before it is carried out.” 

Deputy Haughey said some people are waiting so long on a waiting list that they are no longer eligible for public orthodontic treatment.

“Tackling these waiting lists and delivering timely treatment provision is now urgent for children across North Dublin,” he added. 

 

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here