We are aware that we should give more emphasis in taking care of our dental health, but one must agree that we sometimes take it for granted. Some people take care of their teeth for aesthetic purposes alone, without realising that their function can heavily affect our overall health. Having tooth decay is nothing compared to having, say, diabetes, except if it causes pain and discomfort. Let us see how Australia’s national dental care works, the government’s initiatives, and how Australians can benefit from dental insurance.
National dental care in Australia: The dentists
There are so many dentists in Australia! You may think that Australians should have perfect teeth because of how many dental clinics are in the city. But the truth is dental care in Australia is expensive. It is hard to get dental procedures or treatments without breaking the bank. Knowing this as a fact, most dentists in Australia offer special payment plans to their patients so that availing of their services may not be as inconvenient as many would think. Instalment plans and treatment packages vary per dental practice, so inquire with your friends and relatives about their dentists so you would have an idea beforehand.
National dental care in Australia: The government programs
Because of how costly dental procedures and treatments are in Australia, the national government provides dental initiatives to somehow help its citizens with regard to dental and oral health. Australia has public dental services available per state or territory. They also have the National Partnership Agreement on Public Dental Services for Adults which is said to provide $242.5 million from January 2017 to June 2019 for supplementary dental services. This initiative would cater to around 400,000 Australian adults who are also public dental patients.
National dental care in Australia: Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS)
Australia also has CDBS, a government initiative that caters to 2- to 17-year-olds who are in need of basic dental treatments and procedures. These young individuals can get free dental services that include dental exams, x-rays, teeth cleaning, fissure sealing, fillings, root canals, and even tooth extractions.
National dental care in Australia: Health insurance coverage
Because of the high cost of dental services, it is highly unlikely that you can find a health insurance provider that is willing to offer you full dental coverage. Some would provide coverage of basic dental procedures with benefit limits. If you are seeking dental coverage for cosmetic or orthodontic procedures which are very expensive treatments, it is like searching for a needle in a haystack.
Well-known health insurance providers have policies that include coverage of some dental procedures with a fixed payable amount. If the dental treatment you availed yourself of has a price higher than the amount stated on your insurance policy, you would have to pay for the remaining balance.
In reality, taking care of our dental health may be inconvenient and costly. However, it should not be overlooked as its function significantly affects our overall health. Make it a habit to visit your dentist regularly to monitor your dental health and avoid unforeseen complications in the future.