Patient information

Patient Information

When accessing a Special Care Dentist, there are a few options available.

General Dental Practitioners

General Dental Practitioners may be able to provide a wide range of dental treatments to patients with special needs. However, sometimes another location or treatment may be required.

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Republic of Ireland

In the Republic of Ireland, the majority of this care is provided by the Health Service Executive, to children under the age of 16 and to adults with a current Medical Card.

Treatment may be available through the local HSE Health Centre. Persons should contact their local clinic for details. The clinic may redirect the inquiry to a senior dentist. Details of local clinics may be available on the website: or in the telephone book.

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, treatment may be accessible through Primary Community Care Trusts. Again, patients or carers should contact their local health centre for information, check the telephone book or check the website:


Dental Hospitals may also provide care to those with special needs, however these are usually accessed by referral from a general or public service dentist.

Sedation/General Anaesthetic services may be available through the hospitals/public services; however, local limitations/waiting lists usually apply.


If difficulties arise in accessing dental care, the local health authority should be contacted in the first instance and all avenues explored at a local level.

If the outcome of this contact is not satisfactory, the ISDH would recommend contacting the local MP/MEP/TD. Difficulties in accessing care should always be highlighted.


Complaints should be submitted in writing.

In the Republic, see the HSE website for details.

Similarly, in Northern Ireland check the following website: