Most orthodontists in Ireland will be aware of the recent media coverage relating to patients of an orthodontic practice being left without ongoing treatment and the request for local orthodontists to help in the provision of future care. We appreciate the challenges that transfer of orthodontic care mid-treatment can bring and this is a scenario that has prompted questions from orthodontists previously. We hope that the below information is of help when considering taking on the transfer of patients.

One of the main questions that orthodontists ask when involved in taking on orthodontic care mid-treatment is about their position in the event there is a challenge in future regarding the outcome of the treatment. As an orthodontist, you would become responsible for the ongoing care of a patient from the point you take on the patient’s care. Therefore, it is important to ensure that a clear record exists of an orthodontic assessment at the time you first see the patient, along with a reassessment of the treatment goals and your treatment plan to achieve these.

At the point of transfer, it is also important that a patient fully understands the proposals for future treatment, any alternative treatment options as well as the risks and benefits of the options available. The clinical records should contain details of what was discussed which will help to demonstrate that the patient’s consent to ongoing treatment was valid.

The following additional points may help in the smooth transfer of patient care and treatment.


If the previous records are not available at the time of the initial appointment consider whether the treatment can be deferred until records have been obtained, allowing a full assessment to be undertaken when all information has been collated.


As the continuation of orthodontic treatment may result in the patient having to pay additional fees, this financial burden may impact on whether a patient wishes to continue with treatment. It is important that the patient fully understands the implications of discontinuing treatment and any potential short- or longer-term risks this might cause.  Documenting the advice given to the patient and following this up in writing will help ensure a patient’s decision to end treatment is fully informed.  

Change in treatment plan

It is inevitably the case that whilst the goals of orthodontic treatment may align between different practitioners, the treatment plan and mechanics to achieve the outcome often varies. This doesn’t mean only one treatment plan is correct, but patients can often misinterpret replacement of brackets or different mechanics as indicative that an element of their treatment may not have been correct.

It is helpful to ensure patients understand that different practitioners may take different approaches and avoid being drawn into commenting specifically on another clinician’s approach. In the event you are concerned that a patient is not comfortable with the treatment approach you are advising then the option of a second opinion can be the best way forward for the patient to consider.

Above all, it is necessary to ensure patients' best interests are put first and whilst the transfer of patient care mid-treatment may not be ideal, having a clear plan in place and ensuring patients understand the options available will help smooth the journey for both the orthodontist and the patients.

Support and protection

Members who have questions about managing the transfer of patient care can contact us in the usual way to request advice and assistance. Please note that, in response to member feedback, we introduced more tailored pricing of membership for our members in Ireland over the last few years. If you are undertaking orthodontics, your membership documents should reflect your orthodontic practice. If you are taking on additional patient care or increasing your hours, you will need to check your membership reflects your new hours of working or additional hours of orthodontic procedures. Dental Protection members can check their membership details are correct by contacting us on 1800 932 916.

Your questions answered

  • My hours will increase as a result of this - what do I need to do?

    If any of your details change (including the type of clinical work you undertake or hours worked) you should notify us before these changes take place, so that we can update your membership and adjust your subscription if necessary. You will need to estimate the additional number of hours of orthodontic procedures you may be undertaking.

    Please contact us at [email protected] or 1800 932 916.

    Why this matters: It is important that we have accurate and up-to-date details of your practice, to ensure we are able to assist should any complaints or claims arise in the future.

  • I am concerned about the risks of taking on a patient mid-treatment.

    If you have concerns regarding taking patients on mid-treatment and would like advice and support on managing potential risks, you can contact the Dental Protection advice line anytime on 1800 936 077.

  • Will my calls to the Dental Protection advice line regarding this impact my subscription?

    Dental Protection does not use the number of calls for advice as part of its risk assessment of a member. This includes determining their membership subscription.

    We actively encourage members to contact us for advice to provide peace of mind and to help prevent a concern or problem escalating.

  • Where can I find further resources?

    We have a number of online articles and case reports for members related to continuity of care:

    Members can also log in to their online learning account to access further resources including topics such as: ‘Reducing Dentolegal Risk’, ‘Dental Records' and ‘Mastering Difficult Interactions'.

    Details are also available via this link for those members who have yet to activate their online learning account.


To encourage participation in risk management CPD, we reward dentists with reduced subscriptions as part of our package of risk management initiatives.
  • The RiskCredits reward programme is only valid for members paying Ireland membership rates and who attend or who have attended an eligible risk management event.
  • RiskCredits are not available to dentists in Northern Ireland who pay UK membership rates.
  • For any queries please contact membership services.

Although continuing professional development (CPD) after graduation is not yet mandatory in Ireland, there is much that you can do to protect yourself against the increasing claims frequency that dentists here are experiencing. It is important to be aware that the Dental Council’s Code of Practice pertaining to Professional Behaviour and Dental Ethics states that all dentists have an obligation to maintain and update their knowledge and skills through risk management CPD.

For many years, Dental Protection has rewarded Ireland dental members who choose to participate in relevant risk management CPD. This reward is part of a wider package of risk management initiatives that can help reduce the frequency of claims. For this reason, the reward is only available to members paying a membership subscription for work in Ireland = and who have participated in the events listed on this page.

RiskCredits are awarded for risk management CPD carried out in the previous membership year. Please note you can only use CPD hours to count towards RiskCredits once and CPD must have been carried out in the previous 12 months of membership.

One RiskCredit will be awarded for every hour of verifiable risk management CPD declared from the list below of recognised activities, which are events organised by Dental Protection or where Dental Protection has provided a speaker. The number of RiskCredits will equal the number of hours that the Dental Protection lecturer speaks, for example, a one-hour lecture from one of our Dentolegal Donsultants will equal one RiskCredit.

  • Members with no RiskCredits = 0% discount
  • Members with some, but fewer than 7.5 RiskCredits = 7.5% discount
  • Members with between 7.5 and 15 RiskCredits = 15% discount
RiskCredits Submission Form

You will be sent a RiskCredit submission form when your renewal is due, or you can download one below. Please use this form to record any RiskCredits you have achieved since your last renewal date. All Dental Protection event and conference certificates can be downloaded from our online learning hub PRISM once event feedback has been completed. Please DO NOT submit CPD certificates with your submission form but be aware that you may be asked to provide proof of the declared risk management CPD at some point during the renewal process.

RiskCredits declaration form

Qualifying activity
  • Dental Protection face to face workshops (all titles) – 3 RiskCredits each.
  • Virtual workshops (all titles) – 2 RiskCredits each.
  • Virtual conference - Young dentist conference (1-5 years post qualification); Dental Protection conference - 3 RiskCredits each.
  • Dental Protection webinars - 1 RiskCredit each.
  • Dental Protection online learning courses via PRISM – Risk management modules, ethics modules, and reflective learning; 1 RiskCredit per hour of online learning completed.
Blended learning

Quite deliberately, the formats of the above risk management activity are a combination of online activity, distance and reflective learning, and didactic sessions in a small group or webinar/conference environment. We believe there are benefits in each of these approaches and although everyone will have a different preferred learning style, direct contact with professional colleagues is generally a beneficial part of the overall mix.


During the renewal process members will be asked to declare any verifiable CPD undertaken within the previous membership year from a list of approved activities up to a maximum of 15 hours.

Frequently asked questions

  • Q
    What are RiskCredits?

    This is an initiative introduced by Dental Protection in 2013 whereby members can claim up to 15% reductions on the normal full subscription rate according to their level of participation in risk management activity that has been approved by Dental Protection. You will be sent information regarding RiskCredits with your renewal notice.

  • Q
    How do I claim RiskCredits?

    Download the form on this page and fill this in. Please fill this in with the qualifying risk management CPD you have completed in the previous 12 month period. Please do not submit CPD certificates with your submission form (you may be asked to provide proof of declared CPD at some point in the renewal process).

    At least one hour of verifiable risk management CPD must be achieved by attending a Dental Protection approved event or lecture.

  • Q
    How do I know my RiskCredits discount has been applied?

    You will receive a letter and a certificate. If you pay by Direct Debit you will be sent a new payment schedule and if you pay by other methods, you will be sent an invoice.

    You will still be able to claim the IDA membership reduction.

  • Q
    Will I automatically be put into the correct category?

    When you receive your next membership renewal it will be at the full discounted rate and you will be required to submit your Risk Credit submission form each year for review.

    The IDA reduction will still apply, at each renewal, . If that position changes you need to tell us immediately so your membership can be updated from the date your IDA membership ceased.

  • Q
    What happens if I am paying the wrong subscription?

    As a member it is your responsibility to ensure that you are paying the correct subscription for your membership by providing us with full and up to date details of your practice including the geographical location, the full extent of the work done, your position held and any other relevant factors. Our membership categories and their qualifying criteria are regularly reviewed and they do change from time to time – you are strongly advised to check at every membership subscription renewal date that the category and rate that you are paying is still the correct one. Failure to pay the correct subscription can have very serious consequences including; the suspension of your membership benefits; a refusal by us to assist or to provide you with indemnity in respect of any claim or matter and/or your membership being declared void or being terminated.

    If you have any queries regarding your subscription category, please contact our Service Centre helpline on 1800 932 916 or email [email protected]