A SKILLED and compassionate Kerry dentist has been named Colgate Irish Dental Association Caring Dentist of the Year for 2021.
Dr Colm O’Loghlen, of the Bridge Street Dental Practice in Tralee, was honoured with the overall award for the top class treatment and exceptional clinical skills he provided to a traumatised teenager who had lost his front teeth in a fall from a wall.
He responded to an emergency plea for help late on a Saturday night to treat the teen and he managed to re-implant the teeth successfully, despite significant swelling and stitches to the boy’s lips that had been inserted in hospital.
Dr O’Loughlin was nominated for the award by the 15-year-old’s mother who had put a call out on social media after being told that there was no dentist available in the local hospital to treat her son and she was overjoyed when he responded.
“My son was holding his two front teeth in his hands and we felt hopeless. It was clear that he had done severe damage to his face and teeth,” the mother said.
“When we arrived at the surgery that night, my son was distraught but Dr O’Loghlen quickly put us at ease.
“His calm demeanour reassured us that we were in safe hands and we are sincerely grateful for the help we got that night and the care we still receive.
“Dr O’Loghlen has not only helped to restore my son’s teeth but he has also restored his confidence too. As a mother, I cannot thank him enough,” she said.
As well as winning the overall honour, Dr O’Loghlen was announced as the regional winner for Munster at a gala ceremony in the Intercontinental Hotel in Dublin on Saturday night
Hosted by the Irish Dental Association and title sponsor Colgate, this year saw almost 1,000 nominations received from dental patients and their families all over the country.
President of the Irish Dental Association, Dr Clodagh McAllister, said it highlights the important relationship between patient and dentists in the community.
“Despite the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, the dental professional has continued to show a dedication, resilience and determination in providing exceptional standards of care that has had transformative effects on the patients being cared for,” she said.
The judges this year were Dr Barry Harrington, Dr Seton Menton, Dr Frances O’Callaghan, and Dr Divya Sweeney.