Dental Services and Treatment

You can get dental treatment in Ireland through public and private services.

This page provides information on public schemes. A public scheme is a free or subsidised service offered by the state.

Contact your local dentist practice if you need a private service.

Dental Treatment Benefit Scheme 

The Department of Social Protection funds a scheme called the Dental Treatment Benefit Scheme (DTBS).

Your eligibility is based on your Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI) contributions.

Your dentist can check if you qualify for treatment under this scheme.

Treatment Benefit Scheme —

HSE dental and orthodontic services for children

We provide some free dental services for children under 16 through a school programme.

School dental programme for children

We provide a dental screening service for primary school children at our clinics.

The programme offers dental check-ups and treatment to the children in some classes.

The check-up will take place in a local HSE dental clinic.

Contact your local HSE dental clinic and ask for the dental service.

Free emergency dental care for children

We provide an emergency dental service for children under 16.

Contact your local HSE dental clinic if your child has:

  • toothache
  • trauma — damage to their teeth or lips

They will arrange an appointment for that day or the next day.

Braces for children

Orthodontics means 'straightening teeth using braces'.

We provide braces to some children through the school programme.

If your child has orthodontic problems that meet the National Orthodontic Guidelines, they will be referred to the HSE Orthodontic Services.

If you're worried your child needs braces, ask your dentist.

HSE dental services for adults

Free dental services are available to adults over 16 years with a medical card through the Dental Treatment Service Scheme (DTSS).

Services available to medical card holders include:

  • a dental examination
  • teeth cleaning
  • extractions
  • 2 fillings each year

Some other treatments may be available to some patients. These include dentures, some gum treatments and more fillings.

Your dentist will tell you if these are available for you.

Applying for a medical card

A list of dentists in your area with a DTSS contract is available from your local HSE dental service.

Dental care for patients with extra needs

Some patients may need extra support to get dental care. We call these patients 'special care patients'.

For example, people with an intellectual, physical or sensory disability who have problems attending a regular dental surgery.

Special care patients may be treated at the HSE dental clinics. But in some cases their treatment may need extra support.

The HSE Dental Service may refer you for treatment under sedation, or for general anaesthetic in a hospital. 

For routine or emergency dental treatment of special care patients, contact your local HSE dental clinic.

Dental hospital care

Dublin Dental University Hospital and Cork University Dental School and Hospital treat patients through their teaching programmes.