Oral health vision outlined

New publication makes recommendations to improve the nation’s dental health

The report from last year’s inaugural national oral health forum has published its vision for the improvement of oral health in Ireland.

The publication was produced by the Irish Dental Association along with Dublin and Cork Dental Schools and the Faculty of Dentistry, the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland.

‘A Vision for Improved Oral Health in Ireland’ outlined five key recommendations, including prioritising the care of children from birth to five years of age and recommending the introduction of a foundation training scheme in Ireland. It said: “This is urgent and critical for the development of clinical services, better quality care and patient safety as well as both the education and retention of dental professionals.”

Other recommendations highlighted a need to ensure there are clearly defined roles and responsibilities for the key stakeholders involved with the delivery of oral services, and for delivery decisions to be matched to clinical needs and prioritised in line with available resources. It also advised that primary dental care should be brought in line with primary health care strategy. The report stated: “In order to ensure a dental service with patients at its heart, primary dental care should act as the hub and provide continuity and clear lines of responsibility for oral health outcomes for both the patient and the dental team.”

In the report’s foreword, Professor Jimmy Steele CBE, dean of Newcastle Dental School said: “As Ireland emerges from austerity, getting the vision and building blocks correct, right at the beginning, is critical. The devil will be in the detail, of course, but if the basics are wrong, it will be impossible to deal with the detail. This document outlines the vision that emerged and the first steps we may need to take.”

To read the report in full, visit dentist.ie