A survey of the provision of orthodontics in Ireland 2018


A survey of current orthodontic workforce levels in Ireland, showing stable practitioner to populations ratios since 2007.


Workforce planning is important in all aspects of healthcare; in orthodontics, this must take into account several issues including the need for orthodontic treatment, the number of specialist personnel available to provide treatment and the role of orthodontic auxiliaries.
The aim of this study was to collect information on the orthodontic workforce in Ireland and to compare this information with previous studies (2001, 2007) in order to determine longitudinal trends in the orthodontic workforce in Ireland.
The study was carried out in the form of a survey. The survey included orthodontic specialists practising in the Republic of Ireland. A list of these practitioners was obtained via the Orthodontic Society of Ireland (OSI) and the orthodontic specialist register of the Dental Council of Ireland.
The study was circulated both via email and post for completion by March 31, 2018. The electronic version used SurveyMonkey software, which provides a user-friendly interface between the operator and the target population. Data was then collated using both hard copy and online survey responses.
The survey showed that the number of orthodontists in Ireland has increased since 2007, with the practitioner ratio to the number of 12-year-olds remaining stable. It also highlights the increasing role for orthodontic auxiliaries, which may affect future workforce levels.
Workforce planning must consider current specialist practitioner numbers, population growth and the increasing role of auxiliaries in orthodontic practice, along with the older age profile of practising orthodontists.

Journal of the Irish Dental Association June/July 2019; 65 (3): 145-150

Dr Emily Higgins
BDentSc MFDS RCPS(Glasg)
Postgraduate Student in Orthodontics, Dublin Dental University Hospital, Trinity College Dublin

Dr Niall McGuinness

Consultant Orthodontist/Senior Lecturer, Edinburgh Dental Institute

Dr Lorna Dobbyn
BA BDentSc MFDS MOrth MScFDS(Orth) PGCert (MedEd) FHEA
Consultant Orthodontist, Orthodontic Department, Unit 9 Merlin Park University Hospital, Dublin Road, Galway

Corresponding author: Dr Lorna Dobbyn E: lorna.dobbyn@hse.ie T: 091-775 621