Are you avoiding the dentist due to the cost of living?

If you’ve been delaying or avoiding your dental check-ups due to the cost of living, you’re not alone. But you’re also not alone in fearing that this could cost you more in the long run. In the current cost of living crisis, dentist appointments are being forgotten and avoided, leading to thousands of hospitalisations each year. In fact, it is estimated there are 83,000 hospitalisations each year from preventable dental conditions*.

It may seem like the easier and more economical option to delay dental treatments, trying to avoid issues in the hope that they disappear, but this often leads to more urgent treatments which are often more costly, complex, and painful.

Getting the most out of your Health Fund dental extras

If you have private health extras, it’s worth looking into your cover to determine what dental extras you are paying for. Many Australians are unaware of whether they are using their dental benefits to the full extent and are losing out when it comes to making the most of their dental extras.

It’s also important to make sure you’re booking your appointments ahead of time, especially if your health fund extras reset in January. Stay ahead of your families appointments and avoid the rush at the end of the year when our appointment books fill up.

What you can do if you don’t have Health Fund dental extras

If you do not have private Health Fund extras and are unable to justify the cost of attending your dentist appointment, there are steps that you can take to care for your oral health.

Government Health Vouchers– Did you know that Government Dental Health Vouchers can support you and your family in maintaining good oral health. To be eligible, you must satisfy a certain criteria, which can differ from State to State. You can find out if you are eligible here.

Free Dental for kids*– If your child is under the age of 18 and your family is receiving Family Tax Benefit Part A or a relevant Australian Government payment, your child could be eligible for up to $1052 in free dental benefits for a range of services*. Check your eligibility here.

Payment options available– If you need treatment or emergency dental and are not eligible for the above, Pacific Smiles Dental offer a range of payment options so you can receive the treatment you need and prevent more severe issues further down the track.

  1. Payment plans (Direct debit, Afterpay and ZipMoney)- Participating Dentists offer payment plans for treatments with an out-of-pocket cost over $1000 via direct debit payment plansAfterpay and zipMoney. For more information on whether your dentist offers this, contact your local dental centre.
  2. Supperannuation– via an arrangement with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), it is possible to use superannuation (super) funds to pay for medical and dental treatments through ‘Compassionate Release of Superannuation’. Each superannuation fund has its own rules, however, most have an option for early access to pay a lump sum to cover out-of-pocket expenses for dental treatments for members and even their family members.  Find out more here.


As always, make sure to maintain your oral health routine and encourage your kids to follow our 4 easy steps to maintaining good oral health:

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day using fluoride toothpaste. Don’t forget to replace your toothbrush every 3 months, or after you’ve been unwell.
  2. Clean between your teeth every day using floss or interdental brushes.
  3. Eat a healthy balanced diet, limiting added sugar intake and drinking plenty of water. Don’t forget to check with your local council to see if your tap water is fluoridated as this will help to protect your teeth.
  4. Visit the dentist regularly for check-ups and preventative care. Your dentist will check for tooth decay, gum disease and check for any signs of oral cancer.

If it’s been more than 6 months since you last saw a dentist for a check-up, book an appointment today and care for your body.


*Australians putting off dentist trips due to cost of living (

Book an appointment with your dentist

Book your dental appointment

Related articles