Dental care doesn’t have to be expensive

Thursday, February 2, 2016

We all know healthcare doesn’t come cheap, and neither does dental care. However, the exact cost of your dental treatment may be less than you think if you take a more proactive approach to dentistry.

No one likes the ideas of spending money on dental care, especially when they think they have healthy teeth. In fact, ABS research shows one in five Australians (20%) who needed to see a dental professional in 2014-15 didn’t go or delayed going because of the cost. In particular, people aged 25-34 were most likely to delay or not go because of the cost (29%).

Unfortunately, it’s all too common for people to wait until they have a problem or dental emergency to visit the dentist, by which time they are more likely to require the more expensive services.

Many patients present with issues such as gum disease, decay and broken teeth. If they committed to routine maintenance, some of these problems could have been prevented or treated early. But it turns into thousands of dollars’ worth of extractions and root canals – disaster dentistry!

Many oral health issues such as gum disease are easily prevented and controlled, however if left untreated and unrecognised they are hard to reverse. Prevention is the key to dental success and excellent long-term oral health.

It’s easy to bypass regular check-ups, particularly if you don’t think you have any symptoms or problems with your teeth, but this type of thinking can end up costing you far more money in the long term and could even cost you your teeth.

The good news though, is that commitment to proactively looking after your teeth can cost you less than your daily morning cup of coffee.

Australian spend less than $10 a week on dental treatment, with Queenslanders spending the most at $9.15 per week according to the 2009-10 ABS Household Expenditure Survey.

In comparison, Australians spend an average of $161 per week on recreation, including $52 on holidays, $32 on meals in restaurants, $20 on bakery products and $12 on mobile phones.

Spending a little less on Danishes and a little more on dental care per week could save you thousands in the long run.

The most efficient, but often not obvious way to save money on dentistry is to commit to regular check-ups, spend a few dollars a month on good toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss and use these regularly to avoid costly dental treatment later on.

The more you take care of your teeth the less you’ll have to spend fixing them later down the track.

Posted in: Advice, Dental health, General

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