Dáil Éireann - Volume 521 - 13 June, 2000
Written Answers. - Orthodontic Service.
Mr. Wall Mr. Wall
219. Mr. Wall asked the Minister for Health and Children the plans he has to ensure orthodontic treatment for all children on the waiting lists at present before they leave national school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16709/00]
Mr. Martin Mr. Martin
Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): Children are assessed for the provision of orthodontic treatment at national school and those requiring treatment are placed on waiting lists according to the severity of their condition. It is imperative that their teeth are fully erupted before assessment can be fully completed and, as necessary, treatment commenced. Full eruption of the teeth is usually completed in or about the 12th year. While orthodontic treatment can be given at any age with a successful clinical outcome, the objective is to provide treatment as soon as possible after assessment.
Treatment for category A cases – the most severe cases – commences immediately or with the minimum delay. There are waiting periods for patients in category B – other cases on treatment lists. These vary from 1.5 years to five years.
Health board orthodontic services continue to be developed in accordance with the dental health action plan. This year I am providing an additional £1.45 million to health boards on an ongoing basis to further the development of their orthodontic services. I also recently asked  health boards to submit proposals to me as to how waiting lists and waiting times for orthodontic treatment in their areas might be further reduced.
Dáil Éireann 521 Written Answers. Orthodontic Service.