12th Feb 2019
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Two in three Aussies delaying dental visits due to costs
Author: Ben Hocking
Aussies dropping dental visits

Dentists recommend that we have dental check-ups every six to 12 months. However, troubling new research reveals that two in five Australians (39 per cent) did not visit a dentist at all last year, and 61 per cent delayed their dental treatments due to the expense.

This information comes hot on the heels of a story we brought you last month from YourLifeChoices member Derek, who was charged $648 for 15 minutes dental work.

A fifth (21 per cent) of respondents admitted they hadn’t been to the dentist for at least two years, and 15 per cent said that it had been more than three years since they had their teeth checked.

In addition to the two-thirds (61 per cent) of Aussies who would delay dental treatment due to costs, 16 per cent would delay any procedure they needed that cost more than $150.

When asked which dental treatments people would put off, one in three (32 per cent) said they would avoid routine dental check-ups. On top of this, 30 per cent would put off getting caps and crowns, 29 per cent would delay getting veneers, and 28 per cent would avoid necessary orthodontic treatment.

If respondents were faced with significant dental bills, half (50 per cent) said they would draw on their savings, 39 per cent would use a credit card, and 20 per cent would try to set up a payment plan.

Interestingly, an equal 6 per cent would either borrow money from friends or family, increase their credit card limit, or draw on their superannuation to make payments.

The survey of 1087 Australians was commissioned by comparethemarket.com.au.

On average, a routine dental exam, clean and fluoride treatment costs $66, with prices ranging from $51–92 across Australia. Orthodontic treatment tends to be pricier, ranging from anywhere between $5000–9000.

Dental treatment of any kind is not often covered by Medicare and is usually paid on the spot, when the procedure is finished.

The Australian Dental Association’s Dental Fee Survey found that the average cost for a filling is $175, that a root canal averages out to $278, and a wisdom tooth extraction can cost anywhere between $500–3000. Other dental procedures range from $38 for fluoride treatment to $1558 for a full crown (veneered).

Is the cost of dental treatment a concern for you? Have you put off treatment because you can’t afford it? Has that affected your general health?

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    COMMENTS

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    TREBOR
    13th Feb 2019
    9:58am
    Should be on Medicare... Pensioners free.... dentists and their costs need to be reined in, like doctors...

    Maybe we need socialised medicine here, with all such put on a state salary to control their lust for money.... surely the rights of the patient come before money....
    Robbo
    13th Feb 2019
    10:27am
    Pensioners get everything for free about time they paid for something Treb old boy.
    TREBOR
    13th Feb 2019
    10:46am
    Oh, I dunno - there's plenty that pensioners don't get for free, old boy - such as dental care... not real dental care anyway - they can go on a waiting list....

    Everything for Pensioners should be free - after all, it was their work that built the nation to the point where it now stands, and is sooo rich etc.... time to share the goodies around to those who deserve it.
    TREBOR
    13th Feb 2019
    10:47am
    What about that fully socialised medicine then? Put 'em all on a salary, save all that money from Medicare, and a system of overseeing salary payments is far cheaper and easier to run.
    Lothario
    13th Feb 2019
    11:59am
    You wouldn't know Robbo, you don't have any teeth being a banjo playing redneck LNP trolling wanker. Go back playing with your dolls
    Robbo
    13th Feb 2019
    12:03pm
    1984 you are starting to rant and rave again I think that mental illness you have is kicking in perhaps take your medication.
    Knows-a-lot
    13th Feb 2019
    7:19pm
    "Pensioners get everything for free about time they paid for something Treb old boy. "

    They already have through a lifetime of paying taxes, you goose. (Doubtless Robbo is a Lieberal or Hillbilly Party voter.)
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    18th Feb 2019
    9:59am
    So have those who get NOTHING and are being screwed by Labor, Knows-a-lot - you 'goose'! We paid dearly for our pensions, we continue to pay, and you Labor-supporters now want us robbed of the money we saved so we could continue to pay.

    Doubtless you are a socialist or communist, hell bent on robbing responsible battlers to give to the wealthy, the irresponsible, the minority of poor, and the masses of pretend poor.
    tisme
    13th Feb 2019
    10:01am
    private dentists are far to expensive and the waiting lists for public , ive been waiting 5 years to see a govt dentist for a checkup god knows what needs doing if I have teeth left
    TREBOR
    13th Feb 2019
    10:25am
    NO, NO, NO! NOT AGAIN!! Hit 'post' and then hit Function 5 - F5 at the top of your keyboard.... that way it will post ONCE.
    tisme
    13th Feb 2019
    10:02am
    private dentists are far to expensive and the waiting lists for public , ive been waiting 5 years to see a govt dentist for a checkup god knows what needs doing if I have teeth left
    purplejan88
    13th Feb 2019
    10:47am
    even with private health i find the gaps they are charging are ludicrous - sick of paying for their mercs
    Dave R
    13th Feb 2019
    11:22am
    Pensioners get free basic dental care at Qld dental clinics. When we need something above basic such as a crown we go to JCU Dental teaching hospital where we pay about $400 for a crown.
    Lookfar
    13th Feb 2019
    11:58am
    Good one Dave, I have found also that a device called a Water Pic, that shoots litle pulses of water between your teeth, into cavities, into the gum-tooth gap, and flushes out an amazing amount of crap, - even though you have already brushed you teeth, and some of it smells really foul, - where much bad breathe comes from.
    Removing all that rotting food makes your teeth much healthier, cavities stop getting worse, friends don't avoid you, and you can add stuff to the water to halt further decay.
    Available on e-bay or such in he $40/60 range, using one is very instructive and I find my whole mouth feels better.
    Would make a dentists job much easier also.
    johnp
    13th Feb 2019
    1:38pm
    thanks Dave. question though. I believe there is no JCU Dental teaching hospital in Brisbane.
    Would you or anyone know the equivalent for JCU Dental teaching hospital in Brsbane ??
    mogo51
    13th Feb 2019
    12:30pm
    Dentists are just on the long line of medical rip offs. Why do you think so many are in Parliament- so they can control health system of course.
    musicveg
    13th Feb 2019
    8:49pm
    I agree, they ruined my teeth when I was a teenager, my parents thought they were doing the right thing, but the dentist just filled every little hole with mercury and now my teeth are falling apart slowly, nothing can be done, I just use clove oil if I get pain and then wait until they fall out, takes years though before they do.
    johnp
    13th Feb 2019
    1:40pm
    Sorry but a repeat of my question to Dave below as wanted an email advising of replies.
    I believe there is no JCU Dental teaching hospital in Brisbane.
    Would you or anyone know the equivalent for JCU Dental teaching hospital in Brsbane ??
    neil
    13th Feb 2019
    1:43pm
    Yes I have put off dental work because of cost.
    Surely dental work should be free at point of service for all, along with eye tests and various eye medical interventions. Getting treatment early must be cheaper than becoming an in patient in our dreadful hospitals (Tasmania).

    Increased taxation for all.

    Neil.
    neil
    13th Feb 2019
    1:44pm
    Yes I have put off dental work because of cost.
    Surely dental work should be free at point of service for all, along with eye tests and various eye medical interventions. Getting treatment early must be cheaper than becoming an in patient in our dreadful hospitals (Tasmania).

    Increased taxation for all.

    Neil.
    tisme
    13th Feb 2019
    3:56pm
    daughter needs a root canal , 800.00 6 fillings 1200, and a crown 1500
    tisme
    13th Feb 2019
    3:58pm
    daughter needs a root canal , 800.00 6 fillings 1200, and a crown 1500
    Caz
    13th Feb 2019
    6:34pm
    I went to the dentist recently. Yes my visit was overdue. I nearly had a heart attack at the cost, $2300 out of pocket for two crowns after Medical Benefits paid! No root canal, no injections ! Why does it cost so much?
    Caz
    13th Feb 2019
    6:34pm
    I went to the dentist recently. Yes my visit was overdue. I nearly had a heart attack at the cost, $2300 out of pocket for two crowns after Medical Benefits paid! No root canal, no injections ! Why does it cost so much?
    Caz
    13th Feb 2019
    6:34pm
    I went to the dentist recently. Yes my visit was overdue. I nearly had a heart attack at the cost, $2300 out of pocket for two crowns after Medical Benefits paid! No root canal, no injections ! Why does it cost so much?
    Caz
    13th Feb 2019
    6:34pm
    I went to the dentist recently. Yes my visit was overdue. I nearly had a heart attack at the cost, $2300 out of pocket for two crowns after Medical Benefits paid! No root canal, no injections ! Why does it cost so much?
    Caz
    13th Feb 2019
    6:34pm
    I went to the dentist recently. Yes my visit was overdue. I nearly had a heart attack at the cost, $2300 out of pocket for two crowns after Medical Benefits paid! No root canal, no injections ! Why does it cost so much?
    BERRYUPSET
    14th Feb 2019
    5:27pm
    HEY CAZ..YOU KEEP REPEATING YOURSELF (ONLY PRESS ONCE )
    Troubadour
    13th Feb 2019
    7:08pm
    Yes - have for sure put off dental treatment due to cost - even with private health extras the gap payment can be high. Have two chipped teeth and should get them seen to.
    musicveg
    13th Feb 2019
    9:06pm
    I had a sharp bit on one of my teeth and got a metal file out to smooth it out, one of those small metal ones you can get for your nails (yes the ones on your hands not the ones you hit with a hammer).
    Troubadour
    13th Feb 2019
    7:08pm
    Yes - have for sure put off dental treatment due to cost - even with private health extras the gap payment can be high. Have two chipped teeth and should get them seen to.
    Troubadour
    13th Feb 2019
    7:08pm
    Yes - have for sure put off dental treatment due to cost - even with private health extras the gap payment can be high. Have two chipped teeth and should get them seen to.
    Troubadour
    13th Feb 2019
    7:09pm
    Yes - have for sure put off dental treatment due to cost - even with private health extras the gap payment can be high. Have two chipped teeth and should get them seen to.
    Troubadour
    13th Feb 2019
    7:09pm
    Yes - have for sure put off dental treatment due to cost - even with private health extras the gap payment can be high. Have two chipped teeth and should get them seen to.
    Knows-a-lot
    13th Feb 2019
    7:17pm
    In the end, the government would save money if it put all dental expenses under Medicare.
    tisme
    13th Feb 2019
    7:27pm
    im on a carer pittance of 3.50 an hour I care for 4 family members at once 24/7 the govt owes me and carers like me
    musicveg
    13th Feb 2019
    8:37pm
    I have given up on dental care, they seem to make things worse for me, so many mercury fillings I had when I was a teenager have caused so much decay and wear on my teeth, I just wait until they fall out eventually. Use clove oil if I get any pain. I cannot afford dental care anyway.
    Aussiefrog
    14th Feb 2019
    5:54am
    1984
    LMAO
    Aussiefrog
    14th Feb 2019
    5:54am
    1984
    LMAO
    Aussiefrog
    14th Feb 2019
    5:54am
    1984
    LMAO
    TinTin
    14th Feb 2019
    1:15pm
    I went for a check up and clean and the dentist added a couple of x-rays on top which brought the cost to over $350 which I wasn't expecting. I didn't have any toothaches or other problems. How do we know that dentists aren't adding x-rays as a price gouge. I'll never go back to that dentist but I'll bet their all the same.
    TinTin
    14th Feb 2019
    1:24pm
    I went for a check up and clean and the dentist added a couple of x-rays on top which brought the cost to over $350 which I wasn't expecting. I didn't have any toothaches or other problems so I don't know why he did x-rays. How do we know that dentists aren't adding x-rays as a price gouge. I'll never go back to that dentist but I'll bet their all the same. I'm a pensioner too and find their charges are way too high
    casper dude
    16th Feb 2019
    10:23pm
    About 6 years ago at my local dentist on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, I was advised I needed a full restoration and was quoted $30,000 for some major restoration work to be done on my ageing crowns and bridges and for the health of my gums general health. We No way could I afford that sort of money. The work would be done over many weeks and months due to the unavailability of the specialists I needed with long waiting times, even under my private health cover. 2 years ago we went through a very reputable travel agent who did "dental holidays" in Thailand, Bangkok and Phuket. We chose Phuket. My husband came too in the end, also for dental work. Not one of your back Street dentists I may add, but in Phuket's Internationally accredited hospital, The Bangkok International Hospital, a state of the art modern hospital in Phuket. It was like walking into the foyer of a modern hotel. The dental department was so modern, clean and so efficient with English speaking dentists it was a pleasure to spend my painless 25 hours in the dental chair over 2 weeks to complete the full restoration I was wanting. All the dental nurses and all other staff were so friendly and helpful. Most of the work was done in the first week leaving us the second week to enjoy some sightseeing and just a few checkups at the end of the second week. All our appointments and travel to and from the hospital were extremely efficiently organised for us as were the sightseeing tours. We just got in the taxi to take us to our appointment and return us to the resort. The rest of the time we could just relax at the resort, again all organised for us. The experience was quite amazing in a very nice way. The dental treatment for me, 8 crowns, 3 bridges and two root canal treatments and many x-rays came to a total of $14,000 Australian dollars. We've never looked back. Still a lot of money for us to fork out but mo eh well spent and we are both thrilled with the work done on our pearly whites. Our now local dentist is happy for us to go for checkups but we know Australian dentists do not like this happening but what choice do we have. Incidentally she was very impressed with the work. It should be part of the Medicare scheme.
    casper dude
    16th Feb 2019
    10:23pm
    About 6 years ago at my local dentist on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, I was advised I needed a full restoration and was quoted $30,000 for some major restoration work to be done on my ageing crowns and bridges and for the health of my gums general health. We No way could I afford that sort of money. The work would be done over many weeks and months due to the unavailability of the specialists I needed with long waiting times, even under my private health cover. 2 years ago we went through a very reputable travel agent who did "dental holidays" in Thailand, Bangkok and Phuket. We chose Phuket. My husband came too in the end, also for dental work. Not one of your back Street dentists I may add, but in Phuket's Internationally accredited hospital, The Bangkok International Hospital, a state of the art modern hospital in Phuket. It was like walking into the foyer of a modern hotel. The dental department was so modern, clean and so efficient with English speaking dentists it was a pleasure to spend my painless 25 hours in the dental chair over 2 weeks to complete the full restoration I was wanting. All the dental nurses and all other staff were so friendly and helpful. Most of the work was done in the first week leaving us the second week to enjoy some sightseeing and just a few checkups at the end of the second week. All our appointments and travel to and from the hospital were extremely efficiently organised for us as were the sightseeing tours. We just got in the taxi to take us to our appointment and return us to the resort. The rest of the time we could just relax at the resort, again all organised for us. The experience was quite amazing in a very nice way. The dental treatment for me, 8 crowns, 3 bridges and two root canal treatments and many x-rays came to a total of $14,000 Australian dollars. We've never looked back. Still a lot of money for us to fork out but mo eh well spent and we are both thrilled with the work done on our pearly whites. Our now local dentist is happy for us to go for checkups but we know Australian dentists do not like this happening but what choice do we have. Incidentally she was very impressed with the work. It should be part of the Medicare scheme.
    casper dude
    16th Feb 2019
    10:26pm
    About 6 years ago at my local dentist on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, I was advised I needed a full restoration and was quoted $30,000 for some major restoration work to be done on my ageing crowns and bridges and for the health of my gums general health. We No way could I afford that sort of money. The work would be done over many weeks and months due to the unavailability of the specialists I needed with long waiting times, even under my private health cover. 2 years ago we went through a very reputable travel agent who did "dental holidays" in Thailand, Bangkok and Phuket. We chose Phuket. My husband came too in the end, also for dental work. Not one of your back Street dentists I may add, but in Phuket's Internationally accredited hospital, The Bangkok International Hospital, a state of the art modern hospital in Phuket. It was like walking into the foyer of a modern hotel. The dental department was so modern, clean and so efficient with English speaking dentists it was a pleasure to spend my painless 25 hours in the dental chair over 2 weeks to complete the full restoration I was wanting. All the dental nurses and all other staff were so friendly and helpful. Most of the work was done in the first week leaving us the second week to enjoy some sightseeing and just a few checkups at the end of the second week. All our appointments and travel to and from the hospital were extremely efficiently organised for us as were the sightseeing tours. We just got in the taxi to take us to our appointment and return us to the resort. The rest of the time we could just relax at the resort, again all organised for us. The experience was quite amazing in a very nice way. The dental treatment for me, 8 crowns, 3 bridges and two root canal treatments and many x-rays came to a total of $14,000 Australian dollars. We've never looked back. Still a lot of money for us to fork out but mo eh well spent and we are both thrilled with the work done on our pearly whites. Our now local dentist is happy for us to go for checkups but we know Australian dentists do not like this happening but what choice do we have. Incidentally she was very impressed with the work. It should be part of the Medicare scheme.
    musicveg
    16th Feb 2019
    10:35pm
    With more and more people going overseas for treatment you would think that dentists would start dropping their prices here to compete.
    musicveg
    16th Feb 2019
    10:37pm
    I can see YLC's has not fixed the repeating issue properly, I have been finding it saying "please wait" and once I refresh the page it is posted. So please do not hit it more than once, copy what you wrote onto your notepad just in case your lose it when refreshing.
    tisme
    16th Feb 2019
    10:29pm
    govt has a way to solve the waiting lists in the govt dental clinic , if u been waiting 4 years or so they wipe that and suddenly you find yourself having waited 18 months I cant afford to lose my teeth having TMJ means if I do I could damage my gums /jaw
    tisme
    16th Feb 2019
    10:29pm
    govt has a way to solve the waiting lists in the govt dental clinic , if u been waiting 4 years or so they wipe that and suddenly you find yourself having waited 18 months I cant afford to lose my teeth having TMJ means if I do I could damage my gums /jaw


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