Dáil Éireann - Volume 426 - 25 February, 1993

Written Answers. - Orthodontic Treatment.

238. Mr. J. Higgins asked the Minister for Health the number of people awaiting serious operations for orthodontic treatment in County Mayo and the waiting period for these operations or treatment.

Minister for Health (Mr. Howlin): Children seen by the Western Health Board's school dental service from Mayo are [1912] referred for screening for orthodontic treatment in accordance with guidelines issued by my Department. Urgent cases, such as cleft palate, are treated as a matter of urgency. There has been a significant improvement in the level of orthodontic services in the Mayo area as a result of the additional money made available since 1990. A total of 700 children are currently receiving orthodontic treatment. A full time Consultant Orthodontist has recently taken up appointment with the Western Health Board which will result in further improvement in the provision of orthodontic services in the region. This appointment will enable the board to develop a comprehensive orthodontic service and will facilitate the provision of training in orthodontics for the board's dental staff. According to a recent return made to my Department by the Western Health Board the position regarding orthodontic treatments in County Mayo is as follows:

Numbers awaiting treatment

Waiting period

Category A


(category of greatest severity)

Category B


12-18 months

Category C


12-18 months

The waiting period will be further reduced when the newly appointed consultant orthodontist is fully operational.