The Irish Dental Association are urging people to avail of their free annual dental exam before the end of the year. Last year, 70% of patients who were entitled to a free dental examination under their PRSI scheme didn’t use it.
The Dental Treatment Benefit Scheme (DTBS) is available to all insured workers and retired people who have the required number of PRSI contributions. The benefit covers a free check-up once a year, as well as a subsidised scale and polish for a maximum charge of 15 euro.
Figures show that a total of 2,249,148 people were eligible for a free check-up in 2021, but only 686,656 patients availed of the benefit.
The Irish Dental Association are also highlighting that an additional 80,000 people are now eligible for a free check-up under the DTBS this year after the minimum threshold was reduced to 39 PRSI contributions for those aged between 25 to 28-years-old.
Chair of the Irish Dental Association GP Committee, Dr Will Rymer said:
“Oral health is vital to the well-being and general health of every person. Diseases of the mouth and oral cavity have a significant impact in terms of pain, suffering, impairment of function and reduced quality of life.
“Visiting your dentist at least once a year is important to ensure that any issues are detected early. If left untreated they could become bigger and more expensive problems later.
“We would strongly encourage anybody who is entitled to a free check this year and hasn’t yet utilised it to make an appointment with their dentist before the end of 2022.”