The HSE provides free orthodontic treatment for children with the most severe orthodontic problems.
The criteria used to decide whether a child qualifies for treatment in the HSE is determined by nationally agreed eligibility guidelines based on an international grading system (IOTN). HSE dental surgeons are trained in the 2007 guidelines for eligibility and so can advise and refer you to the local HSE orthodontic unit for assessment, if your malocclusion is sufficiently severe.
The types of orthodontic problems that qualify under the guidelines include front teeth that are buried and fail to erupt, multiple missing teeth, very prominent front teeth or severe problems with the bite or jaw development. It is important that the teeth are healthy and the cleaning is very good before any orthodontic treatment is considered, so diet, tooth-brushing and regular visits to the dentist are important.
Treatment waiting times vary from region to region depending on manpower. The most severe cases are prioritised and seen first. In the majority of the HSE Orthodontic units, the orthodontists working are fully qualified as specialists having undergone an extra 3 years training in orthodontics. To check the qualifications of your orthodontist, follow the link to the Irish Dental Council Specialist list in Orthodontics