Senator Sean Barrett

Senator Sean Barrett

Irish dentists were commended for their patriotism in the recent Seanad debate on fluoridation.

Trinity College Senator Sean Barrett (pictured) told the Seanad: “I commend the dental profession on being in favour of a public health measure which reduces the demand for the services of dentists. I would like other professions in the country to be as patriotic as dentists. Usually, when professions come here, they want more money for themselves. Dentists are a noble exception, saying this public health measure reduces the demand for their services. This is a commendable difference between dentists and other professions”.

The Association had made contact with all Senators prior to the debate and shared extensive peer-reviewed research, which shows the benefits of fluoridation and shows no evidence to support many of the scares cited by opponents.

The motion received little support and Senator Mary Ann O’Brien, who proposed the motion with Senators Katherine Zappone and Feargal Quinn, asked that it would not be put to a vote, reflecting the limited support apparent during the Seanad debate. The policy of fluoridation was supported by Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fail Senators as well as Senator Sean Barrett while it was opposed by Sinn Fein and some independent Senators. A transcript of the Seanad debate is available on request to IDA House.