Thursday, 23 November 2017

Questions (218)

Billy Kelleher


218. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if teeth cleaning performed by a dental hygienist, as distinct from a dentist' is covered under the dental benefit scheme. [49799/17]

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Written answers (Question to Employment)

In order to hold a contract under the Department’s treatment benefit scheme, a practitioner must be entitled to operate in their own right. Dental hygienists cannot currently operate independently. Under the Irish Dental Council’s code of practice, “Dental work carried out by a dental hygienist may only be carried out under the supervision of a registered dentist, who has first examined the patient and who has indicated to the dental hygienist the course of treatment to be provided.” As a result, it is currently not possible for dental hygienists to hold a contract with this Department.

Dental cleaning may be performed by hygienists on behalf of the dentist who holds a contract with the department under the dental benefit scheme, with the dentist submitting the claim for payment in respect of the cleaning provided directly to the Department.