The Dental Treatment Services Scheme (DTSS) provides dental treatments to medical card holders. In 2010 the range of treatments provided under the Scheme was reduced in order to cap expenditure at the 2008 level of €63 million. Expenditure on the DTSS in 2018 was approximately €58.7 million.
Services currently available annually, without prior approval of the local HSE Principal Dental Surgeon, include an examination, two fillings and emergency extractions. Other more complex care is also provided some of which requires prior approval of the Principal Dental Surgeon. Patients with special needs and high risk patients can avail of a broader range of treatments including a scale and polish on approval of the Principal Dental Surgeon. The HSE continues to monitor the operation of the DTSS to ensure the most beneficial, effective and efficient use of available resources
The national approach to future oral health service provision will be informed by the National Oral Health Policy, which is currently being finalised and which I expect will be published shortly.
The aim of the policy is to develop a model of care that will enable preventative approaches to be prioritised, improve access, and support interventions appropriate to current and future oral health needs.