Statement from the President of the Irish Dental Association, Dr Eamon Croke:
“We are alarmed at the revelations contained in this evening’s RTÉ Prime Time Investigates report. We are urgently calling on the Government to immediately move to amend outdated legislation which is leaving patients open to risk and harm.
“The Irish Dental Association has consistently called for the Dentist’s Act 1985 to be updated and modernised to allow for the mandatory licensing and inspection of dental practices. As it stands, the Dental Council does not have the relevant powers to conduct investigations, carry out inspections or issue sanctions.
“At the request of the Department of Health, our members engaged in a consultation process of legislation governing the practice of dentistry - this was back in 2013. We are still awaiting any meaningful progress.
“The Government has pursued updates to legislation as required by other health professions. Unfortunately, this has not been the case for dentistry and, once again, shows what little regard the Department of Health gives to dental care and oral health policy.
“In light of tonight’s RTÉ Prime Time Investigates report, the Irish Dental Association reiterates the need for urgency in legislating for a new dentist’s act without further procrastination.”