Having a dental check-up before you go on a holiday is very important, especially if you are planning an extended overseas vacation.
A toothache while on holiday in the USA or Canada can cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in treatment, missed flights and spoiled vacation.
If you visit your dentist regularly e.g. every 6 months will ensure that any issues are detected early, before they become bigger and often expensive problems. A regular check-up can pick up conditions such as tooth decay, teeth grinding, gum disease and even oral cancer.
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What Happens During A Dental Check-up?
A comprehensive dental check-up (as opposed to a short, routine check-up) may take up to an hour, depending on when your last check-up was and the condition of your teeth and gums.
If this is your first visit, your dentist with ask you several questions about your overall health, the medication you are on, allergies, any pain or sensitivity in your mouth.
He or she will then:
- clean your teeth or refer you to a dental hygienist who will scrape below the gum line, remove built-up plaque and tartar, polish your teeth and floss between them
- examine each tooth checking for cavities, loose crowns or bridges, cracked teeth, lose fillings and overall health of your teeth and gums
- check your bite and jaw for any problems
- if necessary, take dental x-rays and perform other diagnostic procedures
- create a treatment plan indicating what treatments are required and the costs involved
Getting the Most Out of Your Dental Check-up
Since your oral health is closely related to your overall health, it is important to communicate any concerns or problems you are having with your dentist. Be sure to:
- Tell your dentist about any new health problems you have been diagnosed with since your last visit (for example, diabetes or heart disease).
- Make a list of all medications and supplements you take, including their dosages. Take this list with you to your dental check-up.
- Let your dentist know if you suffer from dental anxiety. Fear of the dentist is common. At WQ Dental we offer Dental Hypnosis, so you feel calm and relaxed during your check-up and subsequent treatments.
- Talk with your dentist about any problems or changes you’ve noticed with your teeth, gums, or the inside of your mouth. The earlier your dentist knows about pain, sensitivity, or a suspicious lump, the earlier he or she can diagnose and treat it.
A number of medical insurance providers now offer dental insurance. Popular dental insurers include:
- VHI Dental Insurance
- Laya Healthcare
- DeCare Dental
- GloHealth/Irish life
For instance – DeCare Dental Insurance costs only €273 per year and covers a 100% refund on 1 Emergency Dental Treatment per year Worldwide. It also offers 70% refund on all fillings, extractions and treatment of gum disease. And 60% refund on major treatments such as crowns, root canal treatment and dentures.
VHI charges a similar amount per year – €270. You’ll be fully covered immediately for up to two routine and one comprehensive dental exams per year. And you’ll also have 100% cover for up to two dental cleanings per year and most x-rays.
After three months, you’ll have 70% cover for basic treatments such as fillings, sealants, simple extractions and treatment of gum disease. Major treatments are subject to 12 month waiting period and qualify for 50% refund. Check with VHI for the full list of costs and benefits.
Some Laya medical plans include Routine Dental Treatments refund for up to €80 per year and Emergency Dental Treatment refund for up to €400 per accident. Check your plan for details.
Dental Treatments Tax Relief
Some specialist dental treatments qualify for tax relief in Ireland. It means that you can offset the total cost of your treatment against your income tax liability. All you need to do is fill out a Med 2form and your dentist will sign on your behalf. Treatments covered include:
- Root canal treatment
- Periodontal treatment
- Surgical extraction of wisdom tooth
For more information, please contact Revenue.
Dental Treatment Available Under HSE Scheme
Free Dental Services to Medical Card Holders, Please note, not all dentists are participants in this scheme, and the range of treatments is limited.
Medical Card holders are entitled to a range of medical and dental services (including dentures) free of charge. These are:
- One free routine check-up each year (15 min, it does not include cleaning or x-rays)
- Two fillings (when approved by the HSE)
- Initial root canal treatment (only front teeth)
- Wisdom tooth extraction (not including referral to an oral surgeon)
- Denture repairs
All other treatments, including providing dentures, require the prior approval of the local HSE dental surgeon. For more information, or to find out if you are eligible, please visit the HSE website. Make sure your dentist is a participant in this HSE scheme before making a booking. Please note that WQ Dental is not a participant in this HSE scheme.
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