Free dental checks passed up by 1.7 million

New IDA president urges profession to do more to encourage uptake of free examinations

The dental profession in Ireland needs to try harder to encourage people to take advantage of free examinations, according to the new president of the Irish Dental Association (IDA).

Speaking at the recent IDA annual conference, Dr Peter Gannon said: β€œNew research shows that over half or 54 per cent of the two million people who are entitled to a free dental exam are not aware of it. This is not surprising given that it is the single remaining benefit of the PRSI scheme and one the Department of Social Protection (DSP) has never promoted it in any way.”

New figures from the DSP revealed that just under two million people are eligible for a free dental exam. However, only 298,000 people – fewer than 15 per cent – actually took advantage of the service in 2013.