Access dental care hero
5 October 2021

Can you afford to go to the dentist?

The high costs for people who can’t afford dental care.

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David C.
13 Nov 2021
The cost of dental treatment.

Why are visits to the dentist so very high? Looking at the median cost quoted here, I think I need to find a new dentist - my current one is charging double that for a check and a clean.

Pamela O.
28 Oct 2021
Dental care costs

Further to my earlier posting, I believe there is a manager, or something like that, at Revive a Smile charity. I am not sure whether Dr Assil Russell knows about my case as I believe she has her own dental clinic separate from the charity clinic. I would appreciate any information about her private dental clinic, such as a telephone number.

Pamela O.
28 Oct 2021
Dental care costs

I live in Auckland, NZ. I contacted Revive a Smile, and got an initial appointment for assessing dental treatment required. As extensive dental work is required I managed to get an advance from Superannuation NZ. However, Revive a Smile informed me that the dentist I saw had left and it would take quite some time to replace them. They returned my money to Superannuation. I followed up with Revive a Smile, and was told they could not do the dental work. Again, I asked them to be more specific. Again the answer was not specific enough. I had to ring them, and was told the work was too extensive, and I lived outside the area. I can stay with friends in the area, and can attend the dental surgery. I was not asked about accommodation in the area before I was refused treatment with them. I was extremely disappointed as my teeth are rotting, and I do not know how to find a dental clinic which would do the work on my mouth, as the money provided by Superannuation would not cover more than a tiny portion of what is required. I believe having a healthy mouth would prevent a very unhealthy life, pain, and cost to the health system. Is there anyone in New Zealand, or better, in Auckland, who knows where I can have this urgent treatment? Please, please, help?

kerry-ann w.
18 Oct 2021

I see that the free dental ship "youth with a misssion " which normally offers free dental service in the pacific is now docked at Tauranga. In a week 64 patients were operated on receiving $24,500 worth of free treatment.Yes we need more of these ships touring THIS country. Dental problems are HEALTH PROBLEMS and well proven to be directly linked to heart disease etc. The situation in NZ abominable and the government as per usual is slow to fact hasnt acted after many many years of pleas by the people. Surely each town could have a free service put together by the local dentists. Even if they volunteered one day or half day a month if there were 30 dentists in a town that would be someone available every day. Surely this can be done if you contact your local dentists or write to your local paper.

Margaret W.
09 Oct 2021
Canterbury Dental Pilot Not New

When I started work with a Northland Maori health provider in 2008 there was a MoH health promotion programme, Oral Health Promotion, delivered in a schools and ECE Centres by Maori health providers throughout the region.

We also delivered mobile dental services in schools and the 2 services worked well together. Our dental nurses noted that the positive outcomes of the promotion programme were clear in schools that had picked it up and carried it on as an ongoing teeth-cleaning exercise every morning.

With Northland tamariki having the worst dental health in NZ, it was baffling when MoH pulled the contract some years ago. In fact one of our kuia was so concerned for new generations coming through that she has continued to deliver the programme in local schools and centres in her own time.

James C.
09 Oct 2021
Leave the decisions to parents

It should be up to parents to to make the choices. We thought it was silly taking our kids to the dentist if there are no issues. At 8 and 11 years old they still have not been to a dentist and have no issues. Saying that, we do focus on providing them with a good diet and they have no sugary drinks or lollies etc. We home bake with small amounts of coconut or raw sugar only.

And dentists will take X-rays even if no issues are evident, telling you this is the only way to see if there are holes etc inside the tooth. Any exposure to ionising radiation is harmful as it damages cells. If medical care is based on risk / benefit (for the patient), then the decision to X-ray when unjustified is a poor one.

The choice to use fluoridated water should be up to parents too, not some "expert" as indicated. To mandate potentially harmful (or not beneficial) solutions for all based on the bad behaviours or habits of some is a terrible strategy. Already with covid we are seeing democratic choices eroded by Governments seizing on the opportunity to bestow more powers on themselves, all in the name of 'keeping everybody safe'.

If Governments wish to exert control, then stop the pervasive use of sugar in so many commercial food products.

Pamela O.
28 Oct 2021
Reply to James C. Leave the decisions to parents (9/10/21). Dental care costs.

Good on you as parents for providing healthy food to your children. If only it were possible for all children to be cared for in this way.
However, I have some questions: How do you know your children do not have dental health issues if they have never been examined and x-rayed? Okay, they may not have pain, but what if there was a hidden issue?
The debate on chloride has been going for around 80 years or more, as I have been thinking about it for most of the time, and am still hesitant, a little, for myself.
Perhaps, if we take the same attitudes as you espoused about dental care, and refused to be vaccinated against Covid-19/Delta/plus 4.4 or whatever, then we do not mind if we put the whole of New Zealand at risk of a horrible death, or long term after effects which are debilitating. Who and how are we, our family, our friends, our colleagues, to be cared for then?