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.
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.
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