Dental Services and Treatment

Dental Services in Ireland are provided by two main types of service:

  • Private Dentists, who see their own patients and also many of whom provide services for people with medical cards.
  • HSE Dental Clinics, who provide services for children from birth to 15 years. This service is accessed through screening appointments in your child's primary school.

What Dental Services are provided to people with Medical Cards?

Adults (over 16 years of age) who have a valid medical card can access a range of dental services and treatments under the Dental Treatment Service Scheme.

All medical card holders are entitled to specific dental treatments e.g., a dental examination, two fillings in each calendar year, extractions as necessary and Scale and Polish

Some treatments such as the provision of dentures require the approval of the HSE before the dentist can proceed and in this case, the dentist applies directly to the HSE.

Additional treatments are available to those persons with specific medical conditions and again, your dentist will be able to advise you of your entitlement if this is the case. The HSE dental section may require written documentation outlining your medical condition and/or medications from your G.P. or other relevant medical person.

Examples of some medical conditions are outlined in the table below;



Complex cardiac conditions
  • Prosthetic Valve
  • Previous Endocarditis
  • Transplants with valvulopathy
  • Certain congenital defects (CHDs):
  • Cyanotic congenital heart disease
  • Within the first six months of complete repair of congenital heart defect
  • Residual defect following repair of Congenital defects
Bleeding disorders including Hemophilia
  • Factor VIII (Haemophilia A)
  • Factor IX (Haemophilia B)
  • Patients taking Warfarin or similar medication
  • Other bleeding disorders
Cancer Patients
  • Prior to treatment for cancer
  • Those under active treatment by chemotherapy or radiotherapy or under medication prescribed by an oncologist
  • Person receiving or due to start intravenous bisphosphonates e.g. for the treatment of osteoporosis or similar diseases
  • Long term high dose oral bisphosphonate cases will be considered on a case-by-case basis
Neurological disorders
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Dementias
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Acquired Brain Injury
  • Epilepsy
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Patients with significant immunosuppression problems such as persons with HIV, or persons who are receiving medication as organ transplant recipients.
Hepatitis C
  • Persons with a valid HAA card
  • Hip/joint replacement and cardiac surgery
Type I Diabetes
  • Person with insulin-dependent diabetes
Type II Diabetes

Person with non-insulin dependent diabetes

Genetic / Congenital

Down Syndrome

Cystic Fibrosis

Malignant Hyperthermia

Intellectual Disability
  • Persons in receipt of care or services for intellectual disability
  • Persons on a register of disability
Sensory Disability
  • Persons in receipt of care or services for disability
  • Persons on a register of disability
Dental Vulnerability
  • Cleft Palate
  • Sjogren’s Syndrome
  • Long Stay Residents of Nursing Homes
  • Persons on a methadone therapy programme

If you have a medical condition not listed above, but your dentist feels it would entitle you to additional dental treatments, the dentist may apply for this through the local Dental Office.   A decision to approve is made on a case by case basis.

At the end of the treatment the dentist will ask you to sign a form certifying that the treatment detailed on the form has been received by you and that you are willing to attend a HSE dentist for examination if requested.

The dental treatments available on the medical card may change from time to time.

How do I know if my dentist provides services for Medical Card holders?

A list of those dentists who treat the holders of medical cards is available from your local Health Centre, Citizens Information Centre, or Library.  It is quite likely that the dentist whom you normally attend will be on the list.

What are Clinical Dental Technicians?

Clinical Dental Technicians are Dental Healthcare Professionals, registered with the Dental Council, who provide complete dentures and partial dentures directly to patients when the patient’s oral health is established though recent visit(s) to a dentist. 

A Clinical Dental Technician (CDT) is permitted to carry out work on persons of 18 years and over provided such dental work does not include any work on natural teeth or on living tissue.  CDTs must refer patients to a dentist for treatment that is outside their scope of practice or if there is a concern about a patient’s oral health.

CDTs can also treat eligible patients with medical cards under the Dental Treatment Services Scheme, if they have a contract with the HSE to so do.  CDTs can provide Treatment Items B5 (dentures and relines) and A8 (denture repairs and additions) from the DTSS Schedule of Treatments. 

If you are a Clinical Dental Technician and are interested in applying for a contract with the HSE to provide services, contact HSE Primary Care Reimbursement Service at 01-8647100.

There is another grade of Dental Healthcare Professional called a Dental Technician who can manufacture dental prostheses, but cannot deal directly with patients.  S/he works to the prescription of a dentist or, where appropriate,  a CDT. 

* From time to time, the HSE undertakes an audit exercise to assess the quality of care provided to medical hold holders. The HSE may contact patients and ask them to complete a questionnaire or to attend an independent dental examination.