Savage cutbacks and an embargo on staff recruitment are eroding the effectiveness of the public dental service, a leading representative of the profession has said.
President of the HSE Dental Surgeon Group, Iseult Bouarroudj believes the service is failing primary school children.
“Many children are now being left with untreated dental decay as the service has changed from one which provided preventative treatment, to one which only provides reactionary treatment.”
Ms Bouarroudj raised the issue during the Irish Dental Association’s Annual Conference in Kilkenny.
“In some areas, children are only being seen at sixth class, which is far too late for any preventative measures to be carried out. We have seen an increase in dental decay due to the decrease in manpower and the end result is a huge increase in emergencies, requiring extensive treatment and extractions.
“In order to improve the situation, the government simply must lift the embargo on recruitment within our service, allowing the recreation of a system where each and every child is seen at regular intervals.”