Varadkar hits back at claims by dentists
Health Minister Leo Varadkar has challenged claims by dentists that up to 10,000 children are hospitalised annually for dental extractions because they are not being treated early enough.
"That is incorrect based on the information I have got. There are about 3,600 extractions. The number of publicly employed dentists has gone down from around 312 to 300 in the last couple of years, not a significant reduction."
"All the evidence is that the number of cavities and caries is going down," he insisted.
He was responding to warnings by the Irish Dental Association at its annual seminar. The seminar was told that one in five dental surgeons missed work due to stress. They said the biggest factor was the lack of access to secondary care services for patients, in particular to general anaesthetic services.
Chief executive Fintan Hourihan said: "Six in ten say they regularly feel stressed at work and this is simply not sustainable. The fact that it is the lack of services for patients which is the highest stressor is telling. They face pressure to prioritise the most serious."