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Longer registration period for health service dental patients

Monday, 26 October 2009

The length of time a health service patient is registered with a dentist has been extended from 15 months to two years.

A health service dental registration is automatically renewed when attending regular check ups. The extended registration time has been introduced so that patients can maintain registration with a dentist for a longer period, and help them to look after their oral health.

Welcoming the change, acting Chief Dental Officer Donncha O’Carolan said: “It is important that patients visit their dentist for regular check ups. Oral health is vitally important and if monitored regularly, people are less likely to develop problems.”

Donncha O’Carolan said that regular check ups also mean that dental registration is automatically renewed. He said: “When patients attend a check up, they are asked to sign a form HS45, which automatically extends registration for a further two years. Dentists would be happy to advise patients on the most suitable recall period, based on their individual needs.”

This extension is consistent with the recommendations from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) on the dental recall period. It demonstrates the Department’s commitment to meeting the needs of patients in maintaining their oral health.

Notes to editors:

1. From 1 August 2009, the period for which a patient is registered with a General Dental Practitioner increased from 15 to 24 months.

2. Registration is normally renewed automatically when a patient attends their dental practice and signs form HS 45.

3. This change only affects patients registered with a General Dental Practitioner for health service care and treatment and does not apply to patients who receive private treatment.

4. Press enquiries to the DHSSPS Press Office on 028 9052 0575. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 9971 5440 and your call will be returned.