Dentists highlight access crisis in Ireland as more than 1,300 children wait for extractions in Shannonside

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The Irish Dental Association (IDA) claims the country is facing an access crisis, as more than 1,300 children wait for tooth extractions in Shannonside alone.

Statistics show that more than 1,300 children are waiting to have teeth extracted in the region. Data also revealed that fewer than half of children are receiving school dental programme checks on time. Under current guidelines, children should have three appointments before they turn 12. The Irish Dental Association claims that there are not enough dentists to deliver initiatives or ensure that children have access to the services they need.

Dr Will Rymer, from the IDA, said that waiting times are increasing day by day because the demand far outweighs the supply. Currently, there are over 1,349 children in Shannonside waiting for treatment under general anaesthetic, but the number will continue to grow because there are not enough dentists to clear the backlogs.

The IDA is appealing for increased funding and support for dental programmes. Public dentists are working flat out but waiting lists are growing and more and more children will face a wait in the future if routine and preventative services are not improved. There has been a cash injection worth 5 million euros, but the IDA described it as a ‘drop in the ocean’ in terms of what is actually needed to ensure that children can access the care they need.

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