Dental procedures can be costly, so we have gathered the common options, suggestions and pitfalls people find when financing their dental visits, for you to compare.
A visit to the dentist can be a sizeable expense for many Australians, and so it is not uncommon for people to postpone or ignore dentists’ appointments because of the cost. But skipping some cheaper treatments like check-ups or cavity detection might result in more costly, and more serious, complications down the line. At Five Dock Dental Clinic we are committed to the ongoing health of our community and never want to see anyone postpone a necessary dental treatment due to cost – so here are our suggestions for financial options to keep your teeth healthy.
A good dentist will always want you to pay as little as possible.
When debating costs for a dental procedure, remember this golden rule – if your dentist is pressuring you to undergo expensive procedures like surgery or especially cosmetic procedures without being upfront about what the costs may be, then they might not be acting in your best interests. Thankfully, the vast majority of dentists do not view patients as a faceless source of income. A dentist you can trust is one who communicates the associated costs with each procedure before doing them, and has a frank conversation about whether or not a large-scale dental operation is necessary. Most dentists, including those at our Five Dock Dental Clinic, are also committed to preventative care – making sure that small issues and red flags in your dental health are taken care of before they develop into larger or more costly problems.
That being said, sometimes a high-cost procedure is necessary for your health – maybe your teeth cause enough pain that it infringes upon your day-to-day life, or there is a cosmetic issue which is getting in the way of your work. In these situations, here are your options to consider when opting for an expensive dental treatment.
- Public Dental Plan – Before opting for any of the later options, make sure to check if you are covered by the Medicare Public Dental plan in NSW. All children under 18 years of age, and adults with a Healthcare Card or Pensioner’s Card are eligible for full dental cover by default. All you need to show is your Medicare card and proof of eligibility (eg. a Senior’s card).
- Healthcare Plan – Most healthcare plans offer partial or full dental cover as a low-tier benefit. If you have private health insurance, it should be easy to offset the costs for your dental treatments. Some healthcare plans do also cover cosmetic dental, while others treat it as an addon. Just be sure to check the waiting period associated with your plan, usually you won’t be able to sign up for healthcare and then rock up at your dentist on the next day.
- Super Withdrawal – In certain situations where health complications would severely impact an individual’s ability to work or function, the NSW legislation allows individuals to make a one-time withdrawal from their superannuation savings. Although somewhat rare, dental procedures can sometimes qualify for this option. You should consult with your dentist as a healthcare professional will need to sign off that the operation is crucial, for a withdrawal to be allowed.
- Dental loans – Some companies offer short term personal loans specifically for dental procedures, and many partner with dentists offices for a more convenient experience. These loans should not be considered unless there are no other options, as the interest rates can be quite high – but in the case of immediate and costly required operations, can provide some relief to individuals. Alternatively, one-time personal loans or payday loans can be considered, but these tend to have even steeper interest rates, so be sure to compare the market before undertaking one.
- Out of pocket – Lastly, there is always the option to use personal savings to pay for a dental procedure. This is the option we recommend for most cosmetic operations, as they are not necessities and should be weighed up in a cost-benefit decision by the individual.
At Five Dock Dental Clinic, we want to see all our local community treated adequately whilst avoiding any financial hardships which could accrue from dental treatment. We hope to find an option that works for you, since your health is of first importance to us.