- Published: Tuesday, 12 January 2016 07:53
- Written by News Editor
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As of 2013 the number of dentists licensed to practise in the Republic of Ireland stood at 2,649. The number of dentists per 100,000 of the population is the sixth lowest in the EU. Between 2008 and 2013 there were 183 fewer dentists practising in Ireland, despite a rise in the number of graduates. The Irish Dental Association says that ever more dentists leaving the country to pursue their careers, but not to the UK.
Chief executive officer at the Irish Dental Association, Fintan Hourihan, said that the figures didn't come as much of a surprise after a raft of cuts were made to the profession in 2010. "There were two obvious consequences as a result of the cuts. One is the supports for patients being significantly cut back meant that there was a very obvious drop off in people attending their dentist. Two, it also had a knock-on effect on dentists in terms of their income as well," he said.
Mr Hourihan continued: "The number of dentists per 100,000 is certainly lower than plenty of other countries and that's probably because it's not as attractive an option for people to live and work here because it's so expensive to run practices as much as anything else. With each class graduating in the last number of years, all bar a handful are emigrating and they're going further afield. They’re no longer going across to the UK, people are going to Canada where there is a reciprocation of recognising qualifications. They're also going to New Zealand and Australia and that was not a pattern in dentistry that was there before," Mr Hourihan said.
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