The state of our dental health
LEVELS of tooth decay in Irish children have fallen in the past three decades, but it remains a very common childhood disease.
One study found that two-thirds of 15-year-olds have decay in their permanent teeth.
The dental health of the less well-off is worse than in the rest of the population.
Decay levels among medical-card holders are higher.
In 2009, there were 604,772 fillings carried out on medical-card holders, but there were just 221,000 between January and August this year.
Fillings are more cost efficient than dentures in the long-term.
Medical-card holders are entitled to new dentures, which cost about €412 every four years and are a lifetime commitment for the Health Service Executive.