Affordability of Dental Care in Australia - A study


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While Dental cost in Australia remains very high, more than 26% of adults have dental decay, 23% have severe gum diseases, 15% have toothache, which make the search for cheaper alternatives a priority for most of the population.

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Affordability of Dental Care in Australia - A study

  1. 1. AFFORDABILITY OF DENTAL CARE IN AUSTRALIA – A COMPARATIVE STUDY Dental problems are quite prevalent among the Australian population which is evident from the statistics conducted in 2011 by the Australian institute of Health and welfare (AIHW) that states: 26% of adults have dental decay, 23% of the population with severe gum diseases, 15% with frequent toothache Total Dental workforce in Australia Australia has a total of 11,551 practicing dentists as recorded in 2010 out of which about 83% work in the private sector. This is one of the main reasons that the dental health cost is alarmingly very high in Australia. The AIHW statistics also reveals the total dental workforce: For 100,000 people, there are only about 50 dental therapists, 3 dental hygienists, 2 oral health therapists and 4 dental prosthetists. The oral hygiene workforce can be divided into general dentists and specialists. Given below is a list of the total number of specialists: Specialty Total Orthodontics 533 Periodontics 153 Prosthodontics 171 Oral pathology 11 Oral and maxillofacial surgery 212 Endodontics 121 Pediatric dentistry 103 Dento maxillofacial radiology 8 Other speciality 73 Total 1386 It is evident that only 1386 dentists are specialists whilst the remaining 10165 are general dentists. Since the number of specialists is quite low, the cost of special treatments is high and unaffordable by many. Cost Analysis Though Australians have the best dental facilities, people tend to move off to some other countries owing to the high costs for each treatment which is already given in the previous section. The most visited countries for this purpose are India, Malaysia, Philippines & Thailand. The average cost incurred for some of the dental treatments in Australia, Thailand and Malaysia are given below:
  2. 2. Dental treatments Australia Thailand Malaysia Consultation $59.32 $35.75 $28.62 Fissure sealing –per tooth $50.19 $30.56 $24.14 Removal of tooth or parts $149.58 $71.51 $109.48 Full crown $1397.98 $643.55 $379.38 Adhesive restoration $150.8 $71.35 $51.73 Implant $6000 $2860 $1724.48 Crown- veneered $1391.56 $536 $689.70 It is clear enough that the various dental treatments in Australia are provided at a very high rate. It becomes impossible for people to avail these treatments and this becomes the reason for lack of proper oral treatment in Australia. Effect of Income on Dental Treatments It has been observed that owing to the high dental costs, people in Australia avoid visiting a dentist. Below given is a statistics recorded in National Dental Telephone Interview Survey by AIHW in the year 2010. Annual house hold income ($) Percentage of persons avoiding dental checkup <12,000 40.4 12000-<20000 39.0 20000-<30000 39.4 30000-<40000 36.6 40000-<60000 37.0 60000-<80000 34.0 80000-<100000 24.8 100000+ 17.2 This table clearly shows that income is one of the major reasons that affect a person’s visit to a dentist. A person with low income tends to avoid making a dental checkup frequently owing to the high costs of dental treatments.
  3. 3. From all the above information, we can thus conclude that the dental costs in Australia are comparatively very high. The treatments provided in other countries are better with affordable costs. So it is recommended that people could look for dental hospitals in the above stated countries but after a detailed research about the particular dental specialists. For more details visit :