Dental, aural and optical health services in Ireland

Source: www.citizensinformation.ie – Dental, aural and optical health

Dental – The Health Service Executive (HSE) provides some free dental treatment to certain citizens through the public health service. Services are provided by dentists employed by Local Health Offices in your area and by private dentists who have contracts with the HSE to provide certain services

Aural – The Health Service Executive (HSE) provide aural services, including hearing tests and hearing aids, to eligible people.  In general, aural services are provided by the HSE’s own professionals but in some cases, it may be provided by private practitioners.

Optical Services provided through the public health service are provided free of charge to certain people by optometrists, dispensing opticians and opthalmologists.

  • Optometrists (formerly known as opthalmic opticians) examine your eyes to diagnose vision problems. They use instruments and observation to examine eye health and to test your visual acuity, depth and colour perception and your ability to focus and co-ordinate your eyes. Optometrists can also prescribe spectacles and contact lenses.
  • Dispensing opticians recommend and dispense spectacle frames, lenses, contact lenses, etc., having considered your prescription, your occupation, lifestyle, hobbies, etc. A dispensing optician cannot prescribe prescription spectacles or contact lenses for you. Instead, they can only dispense and recommend spectacles and contact lenses that would be most suitable for you, given your lifestyle.
  • Ophthalmologists are physicians who perform eye surgery and diagnose and treat eye diseases and injuries. Ophthalmologists can also examine eyes and prescribe spectacles and contact lenses. All medical practitioners can also examine eyes and prescribe spectacles and contact lenses.

For further information please visit www.citizensinformation.ie – Dental, aural and optical health

Cross-border issues

  • Many people from the Republic of Ireland avail of private dental services in Northern Ireland as  costs can vary greatly between the jurisdictions. It is recommended that you contact the dental practices directly and request a quotation prior commencing treatment.
  • Frontier workers – If you live in the South and work in the North you are eligible for NHS healthcare, including dental care in NI. Please see Border People / Healthcare for Frontier Workers

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