An audit of orthodontic treatment eligibility among new patients referred to a Health Service Executive orthodontic referral centre
An audit of new patient orthodontic referrals showed that 29% were eligible for orthodontic treatment under HSE guidelines introduced in 2007.
Aim: The aim of this audit was to evaluate orthodontic treatment eligibility among new patients referred for assessment from primary dental care clinics in the Health Service Executive (HSE) South region to a HSE orthodontic referral centre.
Method: A data collection form was designed and applied prospectively to consecutive new patient referrals who attended diagnostic clinics at the Orthodontic Unit, Cork University Dental School and Hospital, between October 2011 and February 2012. Orthodontic treatment eligibility was based on guidelines introduced by the HSE in 2007.
Results: Data on 291 patients (147 males and 144 females) with a mean age of 11.6 years (SD ± 2.4 years; range 8-19 years) were evaluated. Of the 83 (29%) patients eligible for orthodontic treatment under the guidelines, the most commonly diagnosed malocclusion traits were a crossbite with greater than 2mm discrepancy between retruded contact position and intercuspal position (24 patients), followed by an overjet greater than 9mm (21 patients).
Conclusions: A total of 29% of new patient referrals were deemed eligible for orthodontic treatment under HSE eligibility guidelines introduced in 2007. Reduction of new patient referrals not eligible for treatment, under these guidelines, is required to enable more efficient use of resources.
Journal of the Irish Dental Association 2013; 59 (5): 246-251
Maurice J Meade
BDS MFDSRCSEd MJDFRCSEng
Postgraduate Orthodontic Student, Cork University Dental School and Hospital, Wilton, Cork
Declan T Millett
BDSc DDS FDS(RCPSGlasg) FDSRCSEng DOrthRCSEng MOrthRCSEng
Professor of Orthodontics/Consultant, Cork University Dental School and Hospital, Wilton, Cork
Corresponding author: Declan T Millett
Cork University Dental School and Hospital, Wilton, Cork
T: 021-490 1139