Cork Kerry Community Healthcare says it’s currently experiencing regrettable delays in dental treatment for patients with special needs.
The HSE branch was responding to queries from Radio Kerry, after a listener named Fiona said her adult son has been waiting over three years to see a dentist.
Fiona told Radio Kerry her 23-year-old son has to be seen by a dentist who specialises in treating patients with special needs; but he hasn’t been seen since 2020.
Fiona said her son’s dental health is very important as he’s at risk of seizures, but is unable to find out how long he will be on the waiting list to be seen.
In response to queries from Radio Kerry, Cork Kerry Community Healthcare says its dental service provides routine dental treatment under general anaesthetic at Mallow General Hospital, for special needs patients who cannot tolerate routine dental treatment under local anaesthetic.
There is one session per week in which one or two patients are treated by senior dental surgeons from the HSE’s special care needs team.
Cork Kerry Community Healthcare says it’s currently experiencing regrettable delays to the waiting list as a result of the pandemic, during which the service was suspended.
This led to patients being placed on waiting lists for longer periods of time, but the HSE says the situation is being closely monitored and it is working to reduce waiting times.
It says any special care needs patient requiring urgent dental treatment because of acute dental pain or infection, will be prioritised for a general anaesthetic slot and will be seen within two weeks.
The HSE says in general, any eligible patient seeking access to emergency or routine dental care should contact their local HSE dental clinic.