Emma gets smile back after parents forced to go private
EMMA FORDE was diagnosed as a priority for orthodontic care to correct her prominent front teeth and recessive jaw, but she faced a three-year wait for treatment.
Emma (14), from Navan, Co Meath, attended her local HSE clinic two years ago for assessment and is typical of the thousands of youngsters who are put on long waiting lists.
Her parents Gordon and Paula feared she would lose valuable time to correct the problem if she stayed on the public waiting list and decided to seek the treatment privately instead.
"Money was tight at the time because I was just finishing a contract of work and did not know if I was going to get another job," said Gordon, a social care worker in a children's residential home.
"We thought she would be high on the list but she just got the standard letter that every other child received."
He said the problems with the teeth and jawline were getting rapidly worse and they felt it would be unfair to make her wait any longer.
Emma started treatment nearly two years ago with Dr Sinead O'Hanrahan in Navan and is delighted with her new smile after being fitted with braces and other appliances to correct the jawline.
"The overall cost is around €3,500. Sinead allows us to pay it off monthly at €149. She had been very good and said it is not about the money."
Gordon said Emma, who is in second year at the Convent of Mercy in Navan, appreciates the care she has been given.
"I work with children and know how self-conscious they are as well as the peer pressure. It seems very unfair that children have to wait so long in the public system."