Dentists have been threatened with legal action for not carrying out cosmetic dentures on elderly patients who are at risk of developing osteoarthritis.
Dentist Michael Eames, who is now retired, said he had been approached by several doctors in the past couple of years and had been threatened by some for not doing so.
He said: “I’ve had two or three phone calls this week, which I didn’t know about because it wasn’t mentioned in the newspaper.”
One doctor asked me if I’d received a letter saying that I had done an unacceptable job and the other said that the GP should take me to the [health] department.
“I told them that I hadn’t received that letter and I wouldn’t do any cosmetic denture work on them.”
Mr Eames said he was now considering legal action against the doctors who threatened him.
He said he believed the threat had been made to the health department as it had been reported on the Irish Examiner website.
He has contacted the Health Service Executive (HSE) to complain about the threats made against him.
He added: “The HSE has no idea what’s going on.
They should have been investigating this earlier, but they haven’t been.”
Mr Breen said there was no official guidance for dentists to make cosmetic denturing services available on the GP’s patient’s behalf.
He told the Irish Times: “There are different types of dental procedures and there are different reasons why you may need a cosmetic dentured teeth.”
There are some cosmetic dentists who work on the side but there are some who work in the private practice.
“Some have a more specific practice and others are more generalists.”
Mr Ahern said the issue of cosmetic denturists working for the GP had been “misrepresented” and “fraudulent”.
“The GP is not the only person with a duty to protect the health of their patients.”
The Dentists Association of Ireland has advised patients that it is their duty to be informed about the procedures that they need to undertake if they are going to have cosmetic dent work,” he said.