We all deserve the best in dental and oral health care, yet 30% of us currently go without regular dental care due to cost, unavailability of services and other barriers. Good oral health is fundamental to overall health and wellbeing, and without it, our quality of life and the ability to eat, speak and socialise is compromised, resulting in pain, discomfort and embarrassment.
Ironically, many commentators observe that there is an oversupply of dentists, resulting in many new graduates working part-time, or as casuals. On the back of this oversupply, private health insurers have become involved in dentistry and have in some cases have begun to funnel patients into their own network of clinics, thereby reducing patient choice.
The power wielded by private health insurers is in part due to the fact that privately insured patients have lower rates (20%) of avoiding a dental visit due to cost than those without insurance (44%), in concert with insurers footing 25% of private dental bills. Like them or hate them, private insurers provide a river of money for dentists
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