Cost of Dental Care
Cost of Dental Care
What is dental care?
Dental care is the care of the teeth and mouth provided by a dentist, dental specialist or other health professional. In Australia, dental services are provided by public dental services or by private dentists.
Dental costs vary widely from dentist to dentist. That is because there are no standard fees for dentists like for doctors. Dentists charge different amounts according to where they practise and what methods they use.
Does private health insurance pay for dental care?
Many Australians use private health insurance to pay for dental care. Most health funds will only pay about half of the cost, and you will need to pay the rest yourself.
Policies vary widely between different health funds. There are differences in what they will cover and how much they will pay. There may also be limits on how much you can claim each year. It is essential to check what is included in your cover before receiving dental care.
Dental services covered are set out in the ‘General treatment, Extras or Ancillary’ section of the policy. Funds use different terms to describe what they will pay for, so you will need to check the policy carefully:
Routine dental: may include x-rays, examinations, cleaning and polishing, fluoride treatment, tooth extractions, fillings.
Major dental: may include crowns, veneers, bridgework, implants and dentures.
Some health funds have preferred providers, meaning you see dentists that they recommend. There are lower fees, higher rebates and more preventive services, but less choice of dentists.
How can I minimise my dental care costs?
The best way to reduce the cost of dental care is to look after your teeth. It is essential to keep the mouth healthy for general health. To do this:
- brush twice a day
- floss once a day
- limit sugar in foods and drinks
- visit a dentist for a check-up once a year
Before you agree to dental treatment, you should do the following:
- Ask your dentist how much the procedure will cost.
- Ask for the item numbers, then ring around a few dentists to compare prices.
- Ask whether you need this procedure. Do the benefits outweigh the risks?
- Ask whether there are less expensive alternatives. For example, can they use a less
- expensive type of filling?
- Talk to your dentist about how you can prevent tooth decay and gum disease in future.
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The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional personal diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a dental or medical condition. Never disregard professional advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read or seen on the Site.
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