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Are Braces Free in Ireland?

5 min read
Are Braces Free in Ireland?

HSE vs. Private Orthodontic Treatment

In Ireland, orthodontic treatment is available both through the HSE (Health Service Executive) and private orthodontic practices. However, the availability and cost of treatment can vary significantly between these options.

HSE Orthodontic Treatment

The HSE provides orthodontic treatment for children and teenagers who meet specific criteria. These services are not free for everyone and are subject to strict eligibility requirements based on the severity of the dental condition.

  1. Eligibility Criteria
    • The HSE typically offers free or subsidised orthodontic treatment to children with severe orthodontic problems, such as severe bite issues or other major dental abnormalities.
    • To qualify, children must be assessed by an HSE orthodontist who will determine if they meet the criteria for treatment. There is often a wait to be assessed by the orthodontist and subsequently a significant wait if your child is eligible for treatment.
    • Only a small percentage of children qualify for HSE orthodontic treatment due to the stringent eligibility requirements. Most children will not be eligible for free treatment under the HSE.
  2. Waiting Lists
    • Even if a child qualifies for treatment, there can be long waiting lists, sometimes extending for several years. It is not uncommon for the waiting period between being accepted for braces in the HSE and actually receiving them to be more than 4 years, due to high demand and limited resources.
  3. Coverage
    • The HSE covers only the most severe cases. Mild to moderate orthodontic issues do not qualify for free treatment.

Private Orthodontic Treatment

For those who do not qualify for HSE orthodontic treatment, or who prefer not to wait, private orthodontic treatment is available. While this option is not free, there are various ways to manage the cost.

  1. Costs
    • The cost of braces in Ireland can vary depending on the type of braces and the complexity of the case. Traditional metal braces, ceramic braces, lingual braces, and Invisalign each have different price points. Learn more about the different types of braces, including Adult Braces, Kids Braces, and Coloured Braces.
  2. Payment Plans
    • Many private orthodontic practices, including Terenure Orthodontics, offer flexible payment plans to help manage the cost of treatment. These plans allow patients to spread the cost over several months or years, making it more affordable.
  3. Dental Insurance
    • Some dental insurance plans provide partial coverage for orthodontic treatment. It’s important to check with your insurance provider to understand what is covered and any limits on reimbursements.
  4. Tax Relief
    • In Ireland, patients can claim tax relief on orthodontic expenses through the Med 2 form. Please follow the link to check for eligibility. This allows you to reclaim a portion of the cost, providing some financial relief. The government will reimburse 20% of the treatment costs, which can be about €1,000, making orthodontic treatment more affordable for families.

Paying for Your Braces

Here are some ways you can pay for your braces and save as much as €1,700 off the cost of your smile:

  • We accept payments by cash, bank transfer, credit, and debit card.
  • Pay in full and receive 5% off your treatment.
  • Complete a Med 2 form and receive a 20% tax refund.
  • Vhi Dental insurance or other insurance customers can save up to €1,000.
  • Claim back up to €1,700 if you’re eligible for Garda Medical Aid.

For more information on costs, visit our Costs and Payment Plans page.

Conclusion

While braces are not free for everyone in Ireland, there are options available to help manage the cost of orthodontic treatment. The HSE provides free or subsidised treatment for children with severe orthodontic issues, but the eligibility criteria are strict, and waiting lists can be long, often extending to more than 4 years between acceptance and actually receiving braces. Most children will not be eligible for free treatment under the HSE. Private orthodontic treatment offers more immediate access and flexible payment options, though it involves an out-of-pocket expense. Additionally, the government provides a 20% reimbursement on treatment costs, which can amount to around €1,000.

At Terenure Orthodontics, our experienced team, led by Dr. Joseph O'Connor, is dedicated to helping you achieve the smile of your dreams with personalised and affordable treatment plans. Whether you need braces for yourself or your child, we are here to guide you every step of the way. Book your consultation now and take the first step towards a healthier, brighter smile.

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Discuss your goals with one of our specialist orthodontists to find out what treatment option suits you best. We offer free consultations both in person and online.

Dental Council of IrelandAmerican Association of OrthodontistsIrish Dental Association LogoWorld Federation Of Orthodontists Affiliate AssociationRoyal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons LogoOrthodontics Society of Ireland
Dental Council of IrelandAmerican Association of OrthodontistsIrish Dental Association LogoWorld Federation Of Orthodontists Affiliate AssociationRoyal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons LogoOrthodontics Society of Ireland