Oral surgery appointment delays are forcing medical card patients to overuse antibiotics, the Irish Dental Association (IDA) claims.

Dr Ryan Hennessy, leader of the IDA general dental practitioners’ committee, spoke at the IDA annual conference in Kilkenny on 15 May, saying delays were due to cutbacks in staffing, theatre time in hospitals and preventative treatments.

He commented: ‘We have seen a 20% net reduction in dental staffing in the dental services provided directly by the HSE over the last four years.

‘We are calling on the minister for health to insist that maximum waiting times be introduced in order to safeguard the health of patients referred for specialist oral surgery.’

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