Oral Health in NZ: The Price of Delayed Dental Appointments

Dental Visit of a girl with bracesKiwis have a problem: They are not fans of keeping their dental appointments. One factor that contributes to the fewer number of people paying attention to their dental health is the price, but according to the Ministry of Health, the problem is beyond cost.

Low Priority

Only 47.5% of Kiwis aged 15 and above visit their dentist, says 2016 data. What this means is that dental problems such as plaque build-up may be left unnoticed until you need emergency treatment to deal with the pain.

In Tauranga, despite the overwhelming number of dental practices that offer various services to assure coverage of oral hygiene, people are still not keen on making the call. It seems that one reason is that they simply do not think a dental emergency could happen to them, or that because they are not in any pain at the moment, they do not need a dental check-up.

Taylor Burley Kleiman Dental explains that an emergency dentist in your Tauranga neighbourhood may help with their needs even after-hours. However, efforts need to be made to change the outlook of Kiwis on dental health, to lower the chances of them encountering painful problems in the future.

Early Start

It’s not all grim, however. In New Zealand, dental care is free for everyone until they turn 18. What this means is that a person has a good start in life and that once they turn 18, they have already received most of the information they need about oral care. They enter adulthood with teeth mostly in good health.

Though money does not seem like the most important barrier keeping Kiwis from visiting their dentist, it is still enough of an issue that when Kiwis do consider dental treatment, they go out of their way to find cheaper options. According to the New Zealand Herald, Kiwis would not mind a bit of a drive for reduced dental bills.

Dental care is accessible enough in New Zealand, but there should be a focus on how important it is to visit a dentist regularly and not to settle for cheap procedures when doing so.