Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Leitrim, Shane Ellis, has called for an examination of dental entitlements for people with medical cards. At the moment, medical card holders are entitled to two fillings and unlimited extractions.
Mr. Ellis explained, “The current dental entitlements limited the number of fillings a person can have in any one year, while providing as many extractions as is needed. There is something fundamentally wrong about this and I am calling on the Health Minister to examine whether it would be more cost effective to make provision for additional fillings.
“Dental treatment should be preventative, and if a problem is caught in the earlier stages a solution should be provided, rather than forcing dentists and patients to wait until the situation has deteriorated to a level where an extraction is necessary. All measures should be taken to ensure that an extraction is only carried out as a last resort, and increasing the number of fillings that are available to medical card holders would go a long way to help that.
“Oral health is an important part of the overall health strategy, and early intervention is key. If extractions can be prevented by eliminating the limit on the number of fillings which can be provided under the medical card scheme, it should be given serious consideration.
“I am calling for an examination into the cost implications of this measure as I believe that less evasive procedures will be more cost effective for the State and more beneficial to patients in the long run”.