Why is going to the dentist so expensive?

Why is going to the dentist so expensive?

I have worked in the dental industry for nearly ten years now and the question of why the dentist is so expensive is one of the most asked questions. So why is going to the dentist so expensive? Let’s look at a couple of things:

Medicare Rebate/Government Assistance
Going to the dentist isn’t like going to the doctors. There isn’t any kind of rebate or bulk billing provided by Medicare to attend the dentist, especially if you are an adult. Private health funds cover a percentage of the cost but there is usually some kind of out-of-pocket expense.

Equipment Costs
The equipment that we use is top of the range. We use a system called CEREC that makes it possible for us to be able to offer same day dental crowns. This system costs upwards of six figures. We offer the latest in dental technology such as: digital x-rays, intra-oral cameras, onsite OPG’s, rotary endodontic system for root canals and CEREC CAD/CAM.

Regular Expenses
Becoming a dentist in Australia, is one of the most expensive qualifications you can obtain so that’s a fair amount of student loans for a dentist to pay off. Regular and everyday expenses of any business such as staff salaries, utilities, rent and overall running costs also play a role. So as you can imagine, the overheads to run a dental practice are not small but they do enable us to offer the best dental treatment options available.

By law, working dentists in Australia are required to have professional indemnity insurance. The practice must also have business insurance, workers compensation insurance, overheads insurance and so on. All of these policies are quite expensive and have to be renewed annually.

Why does a filling cost so much? Have you ever thought about the material that is used for a filling? We have to source a material that has gone to great researched lengths in order to withstand the pressure of biting force, a constantly wet environment and relentless attacks from live bacteria. Don’t forget all the things we put in our mouths. Super hard foods such as hard-boiled lollies and highly acidic liquids such as energy and fizzy drinks. The filling materials we use must be able to handle all these instances and last for long periods of time.

Prevention is the best cure
When do you usually go to the dentist? Every six months? Or only when you are in pain? Usually when pain starts in a tooth, there is limited treatment options available. Going to a dentist as a routine matter will identify any issues early which means you can make an informed decision as soon as possible. This is usually a lot more cost effective then going to a dentist as an emergency patient and in pain. A regular six monthly routine appointment is not very expensive when you think about it in the long term perspective.

Quality vs Quantity
We pride ourselves on the quality of work by our dentists and not the quantity of work that they do. It’s so important for dental treatment to be completed professionally, with care and with a long term viewpoint in mind. The dentist is also helped by their dedicated assistant in procedures to ensure that everything goes as smoothly as possible.

So next time you go to the dentist, you are forewarned and forearmed with the knowledge that we have your oral health needs in our best interests and that neglect is expensive, dentistry isn’t.

Written by Moana McFarlane

Can erosion of teeth be prevented?

Can erosion of teeth be prevented?

It is possible to treat teeth wear due to erosion and restore teeth to its original form but first of all it is important to understand what is tooth erosion and how to prevent future damage for treatment to work.
Dental erosion, is a type of tooth wear in which enamel, one of the hardest tissues in the body, can not withstand the acid attack and dissolve creating cavities, shortening , flattening and pitting , yellowing of teeth. The enamel protects our teeth while we chew, biting or grind our teeth and once eroded it can not regenerate as enamel doesn’t contain living cells like bone, so it can’t simply repair itself.
A common cause of erosion is obviously acidic foods and drinks. Even healthy foods, such as some fruits, water with lemon, and dressing for salad can cause the erosion. Pay attention to your foods and drinks you consume. Try to avoid high acidic foods such as oranges, vinegar, white wine, and some sports drinks to name a few. Some medium acidic foods include ketchup, beer, pesto, and pears. Low acidic foods include peanut butter, yogurt, cheese, avocados, and wheat bread.
More causes of tooth erosion include, excessive soft drinks, some environmental factors, and even genetics due to an inherited condition. Aside from those things, tooth damage can be a result of bruxism, which is involuntary grinding of the teeth during sleep. The tooth to tooth contact is extremely damaging on teeth due to the hard texture.
Before starting any treatment for erosion to bring dentition back to its original form , it is important to understand the cause and to prevent further damage.
One step to help prevent dental erosion is to pay attention to your food and drinks pH levels. If you didn’t know, pH is the measure of how acidic or alkaline something is. The lower the number, the more acidic. The more acidic an item is, the more harmful it is to you.
Prevention is key, because like I said, erosion is irreversible. Don’t brush your teeth immediately after eating or drinking. By doing so, you’ll only be brushing the teeth already softened by enamel.
Fruit contains acid that can be harmful to your teeth, but don’t give it up just yet. Just make sure to pair it with something less acidic like cheese or milk.

So there you have it! Take care of your teeth, the damage from erosion is irreversible as of now. Take care of your smile, and your smile will take care of you.