Our Achievements - Delivering for Members

Our Achievements - Delivering for Members

Offering leadership and guidance during the Covid-19 pandemic

  • The Association has played a vital role in lobbying on behalf of dentistry and offering guidance and leadership to the dental profession during the pandemic.
  • We secured official recognition that dentistry is an essential service and that dental practice staff are essential workers, thereby enabling practices to remain open throughout the pandemic.
  • We made extensive representations which informed practical guidance from the HPSC for the dental profession which allowed dental practices to remain open at all times with enhanced infection and prevention control processes and avoided some of the restrictions imposed on dental practices in the UK and elsewhere.
  • In the absence of any practical information being received from other dental stakeholders during the pandemic, the Association shared a wide range of information to its members throughout the pandemic.
  • We secured recognition that dentists should be prioritised as essential healthcare workers to be provided with vaccinations as a matter of urgency and invested a huge amount of time in ensuring dental staff would be vaccinated in an orderly manner when it became apparent that the HSE could not locate private dentists and their practice staff as part of their drive to vaccinate staff employed by the HSE.
  • The Associated lobbied to enable dentists to avail of wage subsidy and other business supports from Government during the pandemic.
  • We lobbied to ensure that dentists were listed as eligible to participate as vaccinators in the national vaccination programme.
  • The Association agitated and lobbied regularly and extensively through the national media, in lobbying Government and political parties at a national level and in enabling members to engage in grass-roots lobbying at constituency level highlighting the difficulties faced by dentistry during the pandemic.

Securing significant improvements in PRSI scheme income for dentists

  • The Association secured a significant increase in professional fees for dentists participating in the PRSI dental scheme which saw the restoration of scale and polish treatments / protracted periodontal treatments from late 2017.
  • PRSI dental fees paid by the state increased by over 400% within three years following the changes introduced in 2017.

Defending and representing dentists holding DTSS contracts

  • The Association supported a series of High Court proceedings, injunction applications, appeals and Supreme Court hearings on behalf of over 100 dentists which highlighted the impact of cuts introduced unilaterally in 2009.
  • The Association succeeded in protecting the personal privacy of dentists in forcing the HSE to cease publication of payments to dentists on its website following an IDA appeal to the Data Protection Commissioner in 2013.
  • We ensured that dentists were not subject to the 30% fee cuts imposed on doctors and pharmacists in 2012 as part of the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (or FEMPI) process.
  • We have represented and defended dentists subject to extra contractual investigations by the HSE.
  • We have successfully insisted on adherence to agreed contractual provisions for dentists.
  • We continue to assist dentists who have experienced payment difficulties with PCRS.

Representing practice owners with state and private third party agencies

  • The Association has engaged with a number of state agencies and ensured that official policies properly reflect the specific concerns and the unique circumstances pertaining in dental practices including:
    • Environmental Protection Agency
    • Radiological Protection Institute, Ireland
    • Health Information and Quality Authority
    • Revenue Commissioners
    • Local authorities
    • Health and Safety Authority
    • Garda Vetting
    • HPSC
  • The Association has offered representation and guidance to dentists where agencies such as IMRO, PPI and the MPLC have demanded that dental practices hold licences where EU case law has clarified the obligations on dentists in such circumstances.

Negotiating huge financial savings for our members

  • We have negotiated a wide range of financial savings for IDA members – for example, IDA members are entitled to a discount of 11.5% in professional indemnity costs with Dental Protection (that means savings of between €700 and over €1,000 per annum for general practitioners and specialists respectively).
  • We have negotiated a series of financial saving on insurance, banking, equipment and other practice costs.
  • We offer significant discounts for IDA members in attending CPD events, classified advertising and subscription costs for the Journal and also arrange some events on a members-only basis.
  • Members are also entitled to exclusive free access to the Journal of the American Dental Association ( a saving of €200 per annum).
  • Dentists can save €3,000 per annum in their operating costs because of deals negotiated by the IDA.

Helping dentists manage their practices

  • We provide free HR advice and pro-forma employment contracts to practice owners, saving dentists large four and five figure bills they would incur engaging solicitors in many cases.
  • We provide advice on dealing with regulation and compliance.
  • Every day we assist practice owners avoid or deal with compensation and unfair dismissals claims and other staffing or industrial relations difficulties in their practice.
  • We provide extensive free practice management resources to members via members section of our website which is continuously updated and is a key resource for our members.
  • We introduced the Dental Complaints Resolution Service which has helped large numbers of dentists save significant amounts of time and expense in dealing with complaints which might otherwise be heard in the courts or by the Dental Council.

Helping individual dentists in difficulty

  • We established a confidential mentoring system for dentists in 2015.
  • We helped establish the Practitioner Health Matters programme for dentists experiencing mental health or addiction problems.

Promoting oral health

  • The Association was a founder of the annual Mouth Cancer Awareness Day which promotes awareness of mouth cancer and the vital role played by dentists in diagnosing suspicious lesions and arranging appropriate treatment.
  • The Sensitive Dentist Awards, developed by the JIDA and sponsored by Colgate, offers an important platform to promote the vital work of dentists and the integral importance of oral health as part of good general health.
  • The Association secured specific commitments to improving oral health in the Programmes for Government in 2017 and 2020.
  • The first ever oral health policy was published in 2017 following extensive lobbying by the Association for the preparation of an oral health policy for the first time in the history of the state.
  • The Association has ensured that oral health is considered by health policy makers by making submissions to numerous consultations organised by the Department of Health, the HSE and other state agencies.

Representing public service dentists

  • The Association has insured all our members in the public service enjoy the benefits and protections afforded by successive public service pay agreements.
  • We have secured reversal of salary cuts imposed under PEMPI legislation
  • The Association has negotiated changes in the public dental service including a number of promotional opportunities and the establishment of the first ever National Oral Health Office.
  • The Association has negotiated on behalf of dentists employed on a sessional basis in both dental schools.
  • The Association has negotiated benchmarking and other public service pay awards for public dental surgeons and specialist orthodontists.
  • The Association has represented individual public service dentists in grievance, disciplinary and bullying investigations.
  • The Association has represented groups and individual public service dentists at third party hearings convened by the Workplace Relations Commission and the Labour Court.

Helping business owners to build their practices

  • We continue to support dentists seeking to reduce dependency on state schemes by organising practice management seminars, marketing and  business development.
  • We have offered practice owners and associates access to professional experts and advice from external experts when the Revenue Commissioners has sought to treat associates as employees rather than self-employed contractors with the result that practice owners would be forced to pay employers PRSI.

Lobbying on behalf of dentists

  • The Union has significantly increased its lobbying activity and regularly meets, prepares submissions and advocates on behalf of the profession with all political parties, Government Departments, the media and other key stakeholders.
  • The Association has represented the concerns of members relating to the preparation of the oral health policy, Smile agus Slaintecare, including appearing before the Oireachtas Health Committee in 2019.
  • The Association attended a meeting of the Oireachtas Health Committee in 2021 to highlight the consequences of the collapse in the medical card scheme.
  • We lobbied successfully with Dental Council on infection control standards.
  • We have lobbied on many other pieces of legislation affecting dentists including the new Dentists Bill.