Can you trust your dentist?

Our investigation highlights the diagnostic minefield the average dental patient faces and the pluses of dental tourism.
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04.Dental care costs

The table below contains average prices and price ranges (excluding the top and bottom 5%) for common dental procedures. The figures were obtained by health insurer HCF from its claims database for 2008.

Dental costs table

Average charge based on HCF’s claims data for 2008.
Range of claims covers the middle 90% of claims, excluding the top and bottom 5% of claims.

Universal dental health?

In early 2008 the federal government formed the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission to find ways of reforming the nation’s health care. One of the commission’s proposals was a universal dental scheme, Denticare, funded by a Medicare-style taxpayer levy.

Expected to cost $3.6 billion annually, the proposed scheme is broadly supported by social welfare groups, who point out that about one-third of Australians currently avoid visiting a dentist due to cost concerns, and more than half a million are awaiting publicly funded dental care.

The Australian Dental Association has slammed the scheme, saying it would only provide basic services and the money would be better directed to people most in need. A final decision on Denticare is expected in 2010.


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