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Tax Relief For Dental Treatment

A lot of people are unaware that you are entitled to  tax relief  of 20% on advanced dental treatments that have been carried out in the last four years. The relief can be claimed regardless of whether its your treatments or someone else’s dental treatment that you have paid for. This is done through the med 2 system, we can talk you through this process when you attend the practice. At Swords Dental we can give you this form and help you with the relevant sections and provide any receipts needed. You can also download the form at: www.revenue.ie/en/tax/it/forms/med2.pdf

A guide to claiming Health and Medical expenses:http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/it/leaflets/it6.html

The eligible treatments are :

Crowns.  Restorations fabricated outside the mouth and are permanently cemented to existing tooth tissue. Income tax relief is allowable for expenditure on core preparation for crowns and temporary conditioning crown

Veneers/Etched Fillings. These are a type of crowns

Tip Replacings. This is regarded as a crown where a large part of the tooth needs to be be replaced and the replacement is made outside the mouth.

Post and Core Build-ups. These are inserts in the nerve canal of a tooth, to hold a crown. Income tax relief is allowable for post and core build-ups made from materials other than gold.

Inlays. An inlay is a smaller version of a crown. However, tax relief is only allowed if the inlay is fabricated outside the mouth. Income tax relief is allowable for inlays made from materials other than gold.

Endodontics – Root Canal Treatment.

This involves the filling of the nerve canal and not the filling of teeth.

 Periodontal Treatment

The following treatments qualify for tax relief:

  • Root Planting, which is a treatment of periodontal (gum) disease
  • Currettage and Debridement, which are part of root planing
  • Gum Flaps, which is a gum treatment
  • Chrome Cobalt Splints, if used in connection with periodontal treatment

(if the splint contains teeth, relief is not allowable)
• Implants following treatments of periodontal (gum) disease which included bone grafting and bone augmentation.

Orthodontic Treatment.

This involves the provision of braces and similar treatments. Income tax relief is allowable for the cost of temporary implants in circumstances where they form part of the overall orthodontic treatment.

Surgical Extraction of Impacted Wisdom Teeth.Relief is allowable when undertaken in a hospital or by a dentist in a dental surgery.

Bridgework. Dental Treatment consisting of an enamel-retained bridge or a tooth-supported bridge is allowable.

You should make your claim at the end of the tax year, but you can actually claim relief on any eligible expenses dating back four years (including medical expenses, which require the Med 1 form). It is possible to choose whether to claim relief in the year when the expenses were incurred, or in the year that they were paid (if they happen to fall into two different years).You do not need to submit all your dental receipts to the Revenue, but you should hold onto them for a period of 6 years in case you are asked to prove or clarify any expenses. If you’re self-employed you can claim your relief when you file your annual tax return.

If you have any queries you via give use ring on 01 8401001



Dental Emergencies

Accidents happen, and knowing what to do when one occurs can mean the difference between saving and losing a tooth. Here are some common dental emergencies and how to deal with them. For all dental emergencies, it’s important to visit your dentist as soon as possible. At Swords Dental we always try to fit in appointments for patients who have urgent problems.

Question: What do I do if I knock out my tooth?
Answer: For a knocked-out adult tooth, keep it moist at all times. If you can, try placing the tooth back in the socket without touching the root. If that’s not possible, place it in between your cheek and gums or in milk. Then, get to your dentist’s office right away.

Q: What if I crack my tooth?
A: For a cracked tooth, immediately rinse the mouth with warm water to clean the area. See your dentist as soon as possible.

Q: If I bite my tongue or lip, how do I treat it?
A: If you bite your tongue or lip, clean the area gently with water and apply a cold compress. See your dentist or go to the emergency room as soon as possible.

Q: How do I treat a toothache?
A: For toothaches, rinse your mouth with warm water to clean it out. Gently use dental floss to remove any food caught between your teeth. Do not put aspirin on your aching tooth or gums; it may burn the gum tissue. If the pain persists, contact your dentist.

Q: What if I think my jaw is broken?
A: If you think your jaw is broken apply cold compresses to control the swelling. Go to your dentist or a hospital emergency department immediately.

Q: How do I remove an object that’s stuck in my mouth or teeth?
A: For objects stuck in the mouth, try to gently remove with floss but do not try to remove it with a sharp or pointed instrument. See your dentist or go to the emergency room as soon as possible.

Q: How can I avoid a dental emergency?
A: There are a number of simple precautions you can take to avoid accident and injury to the teeth:

Wear a mouthguard when participating in sports.
Avoid chewing ice, popcorn kernels and hard sweets, all of which can crack a tooth.
Use scissors, NEVER your teeth, to cut things.

If you have an emergency and need to see a dentist you can give Swords Dental a call on 01 8401001. We are open on Saturdays and have early morning and evening appointments: www.swords-dental.ie

Bottle Decay

Even though they are temporary, your child’s baby teeth are important. Tooth decay in infants and toddlers is often referred to as bottle decay. Children need strong, healthy teeth to chew their food, speak and have a nice smile. Their first teeth also help make sure their adult teeth come in the correct position. It’s important to start infants off with good oral care to help protect their teeth for the years to come.

What Causes Bottle Decay?

Bottle Decay most often occurs in the upper front teeth, but other teeth may also be affected.

There are many factors: one common cause is the frequent exposure of the baby’s teeth to drinks that contain sugar. Tooth decay can occur when the baby is put to bed with a bottle. Tooth decay is a disease that can begin with cavity-causing bacteria being passed from the parent to the infant. These bacteria are passed through saliva. When the parent puts an item such as the baby’s feeding spoon in her mouth the bacteria could be passed to the baby.

If your infant or toddler does not receive an adequate amount of Fluoride,  they may also have an increased risk for tooth decay.  The good news is that decay is preventable.

Preventing  Bottle Decay

  • Try not to share saliva with the baby .
  • When your child’s teeth come in, brush them gently with a child-size toothbrush and a smear of Fluoride toothpaste until the age of 3.
  • Brush the teeth with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste from the ages of 3 to 6.
  • Supervise brushing until your child can be relied on to spit and not swallow toothpaste—usually not before he or she is 6 or 7.
  • Place only formula, milk or breast milk in bottles. Avoid filling the bottle with liquids such as sugar water, juice or soft drinks.
  • Infants should finish their bedtime bottles before going to bed.
  • If your child uses a soother, provide one that is clean—never dip it in something sweet!
  • Encourage your child to drink from a cup by their first birthday.
  • Encourage healthy eating habits.

When your child’s first teeth appear, consider bringing them for their first dental visit. Starting early is the key to a lifetime of good dental health.


State Support for Dentistry in Ireland on the Wane.

State support for dental treatment, through PRSI and medical card schemes, has fallen from a high of almost €150 million in 2009 to less than €75 million last year.
Data also shows, from 2009 to 2015, the number of extractions of teeth among medical card patients increased, while cleanings and fillings fell. And, according to a study at St James’s hospital in Dublin, there was a 38 per cent increase in patients admitted for severe infections caused by dental decay, after the State dental supports were cut.
Following the economic collapse in 2009, entitlements to treatment, under the PRSI Dental Treatment Benefit Scheme, were severely cut. Workers had been entitled to a free check-up and cleaning, as well as subsidised gum cleaning, fillings, extractions, root canal treatments, X-rays and denture work. After the 2009 budget, only the free examination was retained and workers were required to pay for the cost of all other treatments.
In 2010, the medical card Dental Treatment Services Scheme was also cut back. Entitlements to cleaning, gum cleaning and X-rays were suspended, root canal treatment could only be performed on an emergency basis and only on front teeth, denture work was only allowed on an emergency basis and people could only have two fillings per year. But extractions, the cheapest of dental pain remedies, could still be performed on an unlimited basis.
Since then, data on medical card dental patients shows extractions have increased by 15 per cent, from more than 108,000 in 2009 to almost 124,600 in 2016. And surgical extractions have increased by 40 per cent, from just over 37,200 to more than 52,000.
The number of fillings carried out for medical card patients dropped by 37 per cent, from more than 604,000 to almost 380,000. And cleaning, which is essential to help prevent gum disease, fell by 96 per cent, from 255,000 treatments in 2009 to almost 10,100 in 2016.

Spending on the PRSI scheme fell from €55.7 million in 2009 to €10.5 million in 2016. It is expected to increase to €15.4 million this year because benefits under the scheme were extended to self-employed people for the first time, but none of the old dental treatments have been reinstated.


Is Chocolate Bad for your Teeth?

The answer is maybe not as bad as you might think. Studies have suggested that eating chocolate on a daily basis over years can actually improve your overall brain function. The  The Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal Study  was conducted observing 968 participants over an 18-year period and the results indicated higher scores on various cognition tests in participants who consumed chocolate on a daily basis. Having said that the devil is in the detail…

Milk chocolate, such as Cadburys,  is probably one of the most popular and widely consumed types of chocolate. Unfortunately, it contains more sugar than dark chocolate. It is made from a combination of cocoa, powdered milk, and sugar. The breakdown is usually 20-30% real cocoa, with the balance consisting of sugar and powdered milk. The higher sugar content that is contained in milk chocolate can cause tooth decay more so than dark, raw, or organic chocolate.

Dark chocolate is by far the better choice when it comes to keeping your teeth healthy and cavity free. There are some studies that even suggest that it can actually inhibit cavity formation. Chocolate is made up of over 300 compounds and is a highly complex substance. Dark chocolate contains polyphenols. These chemicals can help fight the overgrowth of bacteria and other organisms in the mouth. They can neutralise organisms that cause bad breath and they can prevent some sugars form turning into acid, which can break down the enamel of your teeth and cause tooth decay and cavities.

Dark chocolate contains Flavonoids which have been shown to slow tooth decay. Dark chocolate also contains antioxidants. These are beneficial to overall health in many ways but when it comes to oral health, having higher levels in your saliva helps fight gum disease. It is made up of around 70% cocoa and only 30% powdered milk and sugar. This drastically reduces the negative effect that it could have on tooth enamel when compared to milk chocolate.

When we consume sugar, bacteria in the mouth break it down and produce acid which attacks the tooth enamel.  However, decay can be prevented by cutting down on your sugar intake, watching what types of foods you eat, both sweet and savory, and ensuring that you are brushing and flossing your teeth on a daily basis. It also helps to visit your dentist two times per year to identify oral problems early and remove plaque and tartar buildup.

As with everything in life remember that moderation is the key!


Water Fluoridation

In common with every other recognised national dental association across the world, the Irish Dental Association strongly supports the policy of fluoridation in Ireland as an essential element of oral health policy. The benefits of fluoridation as regards the oral health of the population, and most particularly those in deprived circumstances, are extremely well documented.

A useful summary of the history of water fluoridation in Ireland is contained in the attached address to the Seanad last Wednesday, October 1st 2014 by the Minister of State at the Department of Health, Ms Kathleen Lynch (her speech also addresses perceived risks as well as the established benefits of water fluoridation). The Seanad motion which enjoyed the support of the anti-fluoridation campaign was not carried and in fact the sponsors of the motion sought that it would not be put to a vote given the paltry support evident during the Seanad debate.

Recently, dental leaders, representing over one million dentists in 134 countries, reaffirmed their strong support for fluoridation as essential in promoting oral health.  The assembly of the annual meeting of the FDI, world dental federation, reaffirmed its strong support for fluoridation at its latest meeting which concluded in New Delhi, India in the last few weeks. The full FDI statement is attached.

The FDI statement recognises that more than 370 million people in over 27 countries receive the benefits of water fluoridation.

In recognition of the importance of promoting oral health through water fluoridation, the FDI World Dental Federation states that:

  • Over seventy years of research and recent systematic reviews have shown that water fluoridation is an effective public health measure for the prevention of dental decay in children and adults.
  • Water fluoridation is particularly appropriate for populations demonstrating moderate to high risk of dental decay.
  • Water fluoridation confers positive health savings and contributes to reducing disparities in the rates of dental decay in communities.
  • At the fluoride concentrations recommended for the prevention of dental decay, scientific research and reviews show that human general health is not adversely affected.

The policy of fluoridation is supported by all dental schools in Ireland, all the representative and training bodies for dentists, nurses and hygienists and indeed all of the officially recognised representative, training and education bodies for dentistry in Ireland.

A new statement in the name of the deans of Ireland’s three dental schools and the Irish Dental Association was published recently in the Irish Times.

Apart from all its obvious oral health benefits, the US health authorities have published an estimate that every $1 spent on fluoridation saves $38 dollars in costs. http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/factsheets/cost.htm.

The two latest major reviews commissioned by the public health authorities can be viewed here for the UKand New Zealand, both of which conclusively endorse fluoridation as a safe and effective policy, essential to better oral health, and which also dismiss many of the alarmist claims made by opponents of fluoridation who suggest links with medical conditions or diseases without any credible basis.

In fact, there have been fifteen major peer-reviews of fluoridation undertaken across the world by recognised academic authorities in the past twenty years. None of these major reviews has concluded that community water fluoridation poses a known risk to general health or has suggested halting water fluoridation. These, and other reviews which dealt solely with oral health, show a significant benefit to dental health and through this to general health. In fact, there is evidence to show that the biggest beneficiaries from fluoridation in terms of their oral health are those categorised as socio-economically deprived.

To address some claims being made by opponents of fluoridation, we refer you to the most recent (March 2014) report from Public Health England (PHE), the organisation whose mission is to “protect and improve the nation’s health and to address inequalities.”

Regarding the dental health benefits of fluoridation, the PHE report finds that:

  • 28% fewer five year olds have tooth decay in fluoridated areas than in non-fluoridated areas (when deprivation and ethnicity are factored in)
  • 21% fewer twelve year olds have tooth decay in fluoridated areas than in non-fluoridated areas (when deprivation and ethnicity are factored in)
  • In fluoridated areas, there are 48% fewer hospital admissions of children aged one to four for dental caries (mostly for extraction of decayed teeth under a general anaesthetic).

The PHE Report also found no evidence of a difference in the rate of hip fractures, in the rate of Down’s Syndrome or all types of cancer between fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas while the rates of kidney stones and bladder cancer were lower in fluoridated areas than in non-fluoridated areas.

Regrettably, an amount of scaremongering has been engaged in by opponents of fluoridation claiming an association between fluoridation and adverse medical outcomes, none of which have been supported by credible, peer-reviewed research. It is alarming that so many outlandish claims are still being propagated by anti-fluoridation campaigners in spite of the fact that all of these scares have been debunked by the independent Expert Body in its assessment of the report prepared by Mr Declan Waugh (see copy attached) and also in many other expert reviews, most recently in New Zealand where, in August 2014, the Royal Society of New Zealand review again addressed the most common scares cited by anti-fluoridation campaigners.

In recent times, public representatives have been circulated by anti-fluoridation campaigners with scare-mongering claims which have been dismissed repeatedly by independent expert panels. You should be aware that the Supreme Court here in Ireland, and most recently again in recent times the High Court in New Zealand, have consistently found that fluoride is not a medicine and fluoridation is not ‘mass medication’ as is alleged in a deliberately emotive piece of propaganda by some campaigners. You should also be very wary of false claims regarding claims that fluoride amounts to poison and claims of adverse health outcomes based on fluoridation levels which are multiples of the levels obtaining here in Ireland.

Furthermore water fluoridation breaches no legally binding human rights or EU directives. This is addressed in the Expert Body’s review of the Waugh Report, which details commentary from the EU in reply to petitions to anti-fluoride campaigners . The EB report states:

“It is helpful that the EU Commission has addressed such concerns in its replies to the petitions made by Irish and British anti-fluoridation campaigners (EU Petitions 0210/2007 and 0211/2007). The EU Commission clearly does not have any difficulty in law with the practice of water fluoridation. The Commission stated in 2007: “Taking into account that there is no evidence of an infringement of EU law in this case, the Commission can take no legal action”.

Also, claims you may receive from the group “Fluoride Free Towns” are just a rehash of anti-fluoridation arguments that have no credible legal or scientific basis whatsoever. Furthermore, to be awarded the accolade of being a “Fluoride Free Town”, all you need is six businesses that agree to install reverse osmosis water filters. These towns are, of course, still fluoridated.

The same campaigners have misrepresented the NRC report and in regard to the claims made in relation to the York Review, I must advise you that the York Review was itself reviewed three years later by the Medical Research Council (UK) who felt that it did give fluoridation a clean pass on health and effectiveness. The persons on the NRC report who spoke out had been appointed to that panel as well known anti-fluoridation campaigners.

You are also advised to beware anti-fluoridationists’ claims and inferences related to comments made by the Chairman of the National Research Council’s (NRC) comprehensive fluoride review, Dr John Doull. In fact, Dr Doull has confirmed in writing that “I do not believe there is any valid scientific reason for fearing adverse health conditions from the consumption of water fluoridated at the optimal level.”

Alarmist Claims

Dr Strangelove : “General Jack D. Ripper: Fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous communist plot we have ever had to face.”

As mentioned, I attach for your information two major reviews commissioned by the public health authorities in the UK and New Zealand both of which conclusively endorse fluoridation as a safe and effective policy, essential to better oral health, and which also dismiss many of the alarmist claims made by opponents of fluoridation who suggest links with medical conditions or diseases without any credible basis.

Finally, I believe you need to consider an important warning in an academic study wherein the author, an Australian health academic, Mr Jason Armfield, warns as  follows:

“Water fluoridation is an important public health initiative that has been found to be safe and effective. Nonetheless, the implementation of water fluoridation is still regularly interrupted by a relatively small group of individuals who use misinformation and rhetoric to induce doubts in the minds of the public and government officials. It is important that public health officials are aware of these tactics so that they can better counter their negative effect.

Water fluoridation opponents employ multiple techniques to try and undermine the scientifically established effectiveness of water fluoridation. The materials they use are often based on Internet resources or published books that present a highly misleading picture of water fluoridation. These materials are used to sway public and political opinion to the detriment of public health. Despite an extensive body of literature, both studies and results within studies are often selectively reported, giving a biased portrayal of water fluoridation effectiveness. Positive findings are downplayed or trivialised and the population implications of these findings misinterpreted.

Ecological comparisons are sometimes used to support spurious conclusions. Opponents of water fluoridation frequently repeat that water fluoridation is associated with adverse health effects and studies are selectively picked from the extensive literature to convey only claimed adverse findings related to water fluoridation. Techniques such as “the big lie” and innuendo are used to associate water fluoridation with health and environmental disasters, without factual support. Half-truths are presented, fallacious statements reiterated, and attempts are made to bamboozle the public with a large list of claims and quotes often with little scientific basis. Ultimately, attempts are made to discredit and slander scientists and various health organisations that support water fluoridation.”

Fluoridation has been described as one of the greatest public health success stories of the century and we would ask that you would continue to supports its operation in Dublin and in Ireland and to continue to engage in evidence-based decision making in regard to this and all other health related matters.

We would ask: do you feel, as a public representative, that you can deny children a proven safe and effective means for reducing chronic dental disease levels and reducing the number of children attending hospitals for reasons of dental infection?

We would be happy to assist with any further queries arising.


www.swords-dental.ie Tel 8401001

Wisdom Tooth Extractions


Wisdom tooth problems are extremely common. Wisdom teeth grow at the back of your gums and are the last teeth to come through. Most people have four wisdom teeth – one in each corner.Wisdom teeth usually grow through the gum during the late teens or early twenties. By this time, the other 28 adult teeth are usually in place, so there isn’t always enough room in the mouth for the wisdom teeth to grow properly. Because of the lack of space, the wisdom teeth can sometimes emerge at an angle or get stuck and only partially emerge. Wisdom teeth that grow through like this are known as impacted.

When to see a dentist?

You should make an appointment to see us if you’re experiencing severe pain or discomfort from your wisdom teeth. We will check your teeth and advise you on whether they need to be removed. If we think that this may be the case we’ll usually carry out an x-ray of your mouth. This gives them a clearer view of the position of your teeth. We often take full mouth (OPG) x-rays to help assess these problems. This can be done here at Swords Dental

Why are wisdom teeth removed?

Your wisdom teeth don’t usually need to be removed if they’re impacted but aren’t causing any problems. This is because there’s no proven benefit of doing this and it carries the risk of complications. Sometimes, wisdom teeth that have become impacted or haven’t fully broken through the surface of the gum can cause dental problems. Food and bacteria can get trapped around the edge of the wisdom teeth, causing a build-up of plaque, which can lead to:

  • Tooth Decay (dental caries) – this develops when plaque begins to break down the surface of your tooth. When tooth decay becomes more advanced, it leaves holes (cavities) in the tooth, which can affect the surrounding teeth.
  • Gum Disease (also called gingivitis or periodontal disease) – this occurs when plaque releases toxins that irritate your gums, making them red, swollen and painful. Gum disease can also affect the surrounding teeth and the bone around the wisdom teeth.
  • Pericoronitis – when plaque causes an infection of the soft tissue that surrounds the tooth.
  • Abscess – when pus collects in your wisdom teeth or the surrounding tissue due to a bacterial infection.

Many of these problems can be treated with treatment such as antibiotics and a mouthwash (such as Corsodyl), so removing your wisdom teeth is only recommended when other treatment hasn’t worked.

How wisdom teeth are removed

We may decide remove your wisdom teeth at the practice or  refer you to a specialist surgeon. We have a specialist oral surgeon here at the practice on Thursdays, Dr Eimear McHugh.  She has the option of removing the tooth  in the standard way using local anaesthetic or using an intravenous sedation in more complicated cases. We can also arrange a general anaesthetic in a hospital, if necessary.

Before the procedure, you’ll usually be given an injection to numb the area around the tooth. You’ll feel some pressure just before the tooth is removed, to widen the tooth socket by rocking the tooth back and forth. In some cases a cut may be needed in your gum, and the tooth may need to be cut into smaller pieces before it’s removed. The time it takes to remove the tooth will vary. Some procedures only take a few minutes, whereas others can take 20 minutes or longer.

After your wisdom teeth have been removed, you may experience swelling and discomfort, both on the inside and outside of your mouth. This is usually worse for the first three days, but it can last for up to two weeks. We will recommend or prescribe painkillers to help with this.


Possible complications

As with all surgery, there are risks associated with removing a wisdom tooth. These include infection or delayed healing, both of which are more likely if you smoke during your recovery.

Another possible complication is “dry socket”, which is a dull, aching sensation in your gum or jaw, and sometimes a bad smell or taste coming from the empty tooth socket. Dry socket is more likely if you don’t follow the after-care instructions.

There’s also a small risk of nerve damage, which can cause pain or a tingling sensation and numbness in the tongue, lower lip, chin, teeth and gums. This is usually temporary, but can be permanent in some rare cases. We will assess this risk in detail prior to planning the procedure, to help ensure this risk is minimal.

If you need an appointment you can contact us at:

www.swords-dental.ie Tel 8401001