The HSE provides free orthodontic treatment for children with the most severe orthodontic problems. The criteria used to decide whether a child qualifies for treatment in the HSE is determined by nationally agreed eligibility guidelines based on an international grading system (IOTN). The types of orthodontic problems that qualify under the guidelines include front teeth that are buried and fail to erupt, multiple missing teeth, very prominent front teeth or severe problems with the bite or jaw development.
HSE dental surgeons are trained in the 2007 guidelines for eligibility and so can advise you and refer your child to the local HSE orthodontic unit for assessment if the malocclusion is sufficiently severe. This service is accessed through screening appointments in your child’s primary school. You can also contact your local Dental Clinic directly for advice on having your child assessed for orthodontic treatment. https://www.hse.ie/eng/services/list/1/lho/.
Your family dentist can also assess your child for eligibility and give a referral to your local HSE Orthodontic Unit if the criteria is met. It is important that the teeth are healthy and the cleaning is very good before any orthodontic treatment is considered, so diet, tooth-brushing and regular visits to the dentist are important.
Treatment waiting times vary from region to region. The most severe cases are prioritised and seen first. Once you have been referred to an HSE Orthodontic Unit, queries regarding your orthodontic treatment can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
At an HSE Orthodontic unit, your child will receive treatment from fully qualified specialist orthodontists who have undergone an extra 3 years of full-time training in orthodontics. You can check the qualifications of your orthodontist by following the link to the Irish Dental Council Specialist list in Orthodontics
What if your child does not qualify for HSE orthodontic treatment?
A beautiful smile increases confidence and self-esteem. If your child is unhappy with the appearance of their teeth, it is advisable to seek a consultation appointment with a specialist orthodontist in private practice for treatment advice. Most specialist orthodontists offer a monthly payment plan and tax relief can be claimed on private orthodontic treatment at the standard rate of tax.
Why choose a specialist orthodontist? You trust your heart to a cardiologist, your skin to a dermatologist and your bones to an orthopaedic surgeon. Like these specialists who study their specialty areas after their general medical education, orthodontists devote additional years of study to orthodontics. Like their medical counterparts, orthodontists focus their practices to their specialty area: moving teeth and aligning jaws. You and your child deserve a Specialist.
To find an OSI specialist orthodontist near you, visit www.orthodontist.ie