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Dental costs keeping Australians out of the chair

28 July 2011 - 6:59pm

A report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AHW) has found that one-third of Australians are holding off their next trip to the dentist because of the cost.

Dr Jane Harford, from AIHW's dental statistics and research unit, says: "Women, concession card holders, uninsured people and those who usually visited for a problem rather than a check-up, were more likely to avoid or delay dental visits.”

The research shows that people without private health insurance are less likely to be able to cover the cost on their own.

Older Australians are more likely to take out dental insurance as they may be more concerned with age-related dental costs such as dentures.

Dental insurance coverage is highest in the 45 to 64 age group.

Private health insurance companies can offer a range of extra options for dental care, ranging from general cover for simple procedures to major coverage for corrective surgery.

Dental claims account for the highest percentage of payouts from health insurance companies in Australia.

Those wanting to improve the overall care of their teeth and gums could benefit by comparing their current policy with other private health cover options.