HSE dental policy could harm children’s health
A dental cover body has warned against a dental policy approved by the Health Service Executive.
Dental Protection, an agency which offers legal and indemnity advice to dental health practitioners, has condemned the HSE’s policy to avoid giving children routine fillings.
The HSE has issued a memo urging dentists to avoid filling cavities in children’s teeth; however, this policy has been slammed by Dental Protection, who say that it could put children at risk of “serious risk of pain, discomfort and even worse, abscess, sepsis and hospitalisation.” The concerns have been published in Dental Protection’s magazine, Likewise.
The memo was originally issued by Dr Joe Mullen and stated that deciduous fillings should not be given to children because they may “cause more harm than good”; however, Dental Protection said that this advice “flies in the face of patients’ best interest” and was not backed up by scientific research.
President of the Irish Dental Association, Dr Billy Davis, said that the memo had placed dentists in a difficult position and there was a great deal of confusion amongst dentists in terms of how they should treat children with cavities. Dr Davis said that the recent cuts made by the Health Service Executive had forced dentists into making difficult decisions and reduced access to affordable dental care for thousands of patients. Dr Davis said that the HSE were undermining years of dentistry in Ireland.
A spokeswoman from the HSE said that the policy had been in place for a long time and nothing had changed in relation to the treatment of cavities in children. She went on to say that the HSE does not advise against the use of fillings, but chooses to advise dentists to use them only when the child is in pain and not as a routine treatment, which could put a child through unnecessary pain and discomfort.Join this Discussion