Dental Treatment Scheme Chaos Worsens

kids dental services

TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe has criticised the Government and the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly for allowing the Dental Treatment Services Scheme, which is available to those on a medical card, to fall into the utter chaos that has driven hundreds of dentists out of the scheme and left thousands of people without coverage for urgent dental procedures.
In Dublin South West, 12 dentists have left in the past four years, representing a quarter of dentists in the scheme locally. Teachta Crowe said: “Figures provided to me by the HSE paint a stark picture of the chaos within the Dental Treatment Services Scheme (DTSS). This is the scheme whereby people on a medical card are treated by dentists operating within the scheme. At present, the scheme is only able to cover emergency cases due to the colossal number of dentists who have left the scheme.
“It is a disgrace that the problems plaguing the scheme have been allowed to get so bad. Over 20% of dentists within the scheme have left within the past 4 years and under the scheme 32% less patients were treated in 2021 than in 2018. “The urgent and necessary dental treatments that medical card holders are clearly not getting from the scheme could provide immeasurable benefits to the oral health and quality of life of recipients. Inevitably, the longer they are left waiting, the worse their oral health become.
“It is also going to be more costly and difficult to treat cases that become emergencies because of the Government’s inability to work with dentists and come up with agreeable reforms to the scheme. “Here in Dublin South West, we have lost 12 dentists over the past 4 years. That’s fully one quarter of the dentists who were working in the DTSS locally. We didn’t have enough to begin with and are way below what the figure should be now.
“I am calling on Minister Stephen Donnelly to recognise the seriousness of the situation and bring forward realistic proposals that will resolve this problem and get dentists back into the DTSS. We cannot have thousands of people suffering in pain and having a lower quality of life because of Government stalling and inaction.” 

Sarah Brooks

Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at



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