Information for patients

Information for patients

Notice to the Public

The Irish Dental Association is the representative body for the dental profession in Ireland.  Our membership consists of regulated dental practitioners and we are entirely separate and independent of any state or regulatory authorities and receive no state funding.

We advocate for better oral health in addition to serving and representing dentists.  As we routinely receive enquiries from the public, we wish to offer some guidance on commonly asked enquiries received at the Association.

Below we set out advice on how you can find a dentist, how medical card patients can find a dentist to provide care and how to have any complaints resolved. 

It is important to understand that the role of the Association does not include arranging dental care for patients, managing problems for patients associated with the exodus of dentists from the medical card scheme or handling complaints about the professional conduct or about the care and treatment provided by your dentist.  The following information is provided to explain how you can be assisted in resolving these problems.

Medical Card Scheme

We are aware that increasing numbers of patients eligible for dental care under the HSE medical card scheme are experiencing difficulty in accessing a dentist within their locality due to the exodus of large numbers of dentists from the scheme.  The responsibility for arranging a dentist to provide care for eligible patients under the medical card scheme rests with the HSE and you should contact your local HSE office if you are experiencing difficulty in finding a dentist participating in the medical card scheme. Where a dentist is serving notice of leaving or has already left the scheme, it is not the responsibility of that dentist to arrange a dentist for patients formerly seen under the medical card scheme. To reiterate, patients should contact their local HSE office in such circumstances.  The Association has no role in arranging appointments for medical card patients and cannot assist members of the public.

At a broader level, the state’s policy as regards dental care for medical card patients is the responsibility of the Department of Health who can be contacted at

Finding a Dentist

We do not provide nor arrange dental care but our Find a Dentist section (Find a Dentist | Irish Dental Association) can be used to find details of members providing the full range of dental care and treatments in your area, including those who participate in the medical card and PRSI dental schemes. 


If you have a complaint about your dental care then we recommend that you discuss your concerns with your treating dentist in the first instance. Where it is not possible to resolve any disagreement following discussion with your dentist, then you should consider contacting the Dental Complaints Resolution Service ( which offers free, timely and quick assistance in dealing with complaints associated with the provision of private dental treatment.  More information on the scope of the Service and how it works can be read on its website.

Professional Conduct

The regulation of dental care is the responsibility of the Dental Council ( which is responsible for ensuring the professional conduct of dentists.