The Irish Dental Association (IDA) has said cuts to the dental treatment services scheme have resulted in a rise in the number of extractions.
IDA CEO Fintan Hourihan told the association’s annual conference in Galway that the medical card scheme is wholly unfit for purpose and he is calling for it to be replaced as soon as possible.
A new report for 2015 shows a rise in the number of patients eligible for care under the scheme.
However, the number of treatments being carried out has actually dropped by 20 per cent.
“The medical card scheme pre 2010 was not perfect, but it was effective in treating a wide range of patients in a cost-efficient way,” said Hourihan.
“Now, the gross inadequacy of funding and rising demand means it simply cannot cope. The failure of the HSE to approve treatments deemed necessary, to prioritise preventive treatments and to heed dentists concerns regarding the impact on patients has taken its toll on patients and dentists.”