It’s advisable to have regular dental checkups so that any problems can be addressed before they get too serious. The truth is, however, that dental appointment, for many Australians, are one of those things that are easy to ignore unless you know you have an issue. When you do have an acute dental emergency, however, you’ll be busting down the door of the first dentists who can find you an appointment! There are lots of qualified and experienced dentists in the Illawarra, some of whom specialise in certain fields such as paediatric dentistry, cosmetic dentistry or orthodontics.

How much does a dentist visit cost?

A simple visit to the dentist that involves a clean and scale, a fluoride treatment and a check up can usually cost between $200-$300. Initial visits may involve x-rays, which can also cost extra. Once dental work such as fillings, extractions and root canal are required, the price goes up. Medicare does not cover dentistry, so it is considered a private health service.

Unfortunately for some adults, preventative dental treatment can be too expensive to have regularly and therefore they defer visiting the dentist until there is a pressing issue such as toothache before seeking treatment. Access to public dental health care is limited to certain members of the community on concession or healthcare cards and waiting lists can be pretty long.

What about dentists who offer bulk billing?

There are many dentists in the Illawarra who offer bulk billing for DVA patients, or those with extras cover that includes dental treatment on their private health insurance. This means that they waive the gap between what the private health fund cover and what the total cost of services is, so you are not left with any out of pocket costs. If you can afford regular dental checkups, it is highly recommended, not only because it’s often cheaper in the long run to address issues before they get too advanced, but also as there are many other benefits to seeing a dentist.

The good news for Aussie families is that the Child Dental Benefit Scheme offers free basic dental treatment to Australian children between the ages of 2 and 17 years (up to $1000 over 2 years). This scheme is available for any child whose parent receives Family Tax Benefit A and you can check out your eligibility for the scheme here.

Many dentists are passionate about oral health, so if you are struggling to afford regular dental check ups, contact a local dentist to discuss rough quotes, payment plans or whether they offer a fixed price clean and check up that can be budgeted for. You may also be eligible for a discount if you hold a concession  or pension card.


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Most dentists will tell you that a dental visit every 6 months is a good idea. Regular dental check ups mean that any problems can be detected early, which means they are generally less invasive and less costsly to fix. A professional clean and scale every 6 months also means you reduce the build up of plaque, tartar and potential gum disease. Gum disease has been linked to a whole host of serious health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes and even Alzheimers, so seeing your dentist can be beneficial for more than just your oral health.

At certain stages of life, regular dental check ups are especially important. This includes children who are having their adult teeth first emerging, young adults with wisdom teeth coming through, pregnant women, and older persons. If you have a high intake of sugary food and beverages or if you are a smoker, regular dental check ups are also a higher priority. 

Acknowledgement of Country

The List acknowledges the traditional custodians of this beautiful land, Dharawal Country and pays respect to their elders, both past and present. We are priveleged to be able to live and work on these lands.

Always was, always will be.

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Contemporary Smiles

Contemporary Smiles

Business Name
(02) 4283 5995
57 Railway St
Ellen St Dentist

Ellen St Dentist

Business Name
(02) 4229 2911
5 Ellen St
Shell Cove Dental

Shell Cove Dental

Business Name
(02) 8599 9802
Shop 3, 100 Cove Blvd
Shell Cove