Health & Wellbeing


  • The latest research from Compare the Market found that, on average, Australians paid $271.68 out of pocket for their last dental appointment.
  • General dental is the most used health insurance extras inclusion, with 47.6% of policyholders stating it’s their most used extras service.

With Dental Health Week underway, it’s a timely reminder of the value we should be putting into our oral health, especially considering how much dental health can affect our overall health. Yet despite many of us being told to brush and floss twice a day from a young age, as well as getting annual dental check-ups, recent research from Compare the Market shows over half of Australians (51.5%) surveyed haven’t visited the dentist in the past year.

Following up on this initial finding, Compare the Market asked over 1,000 Australians aged 18 and over about their dental health and found that the average Australian spent $271.68 out of pocket for their last dental visit.*

The survey data also revealed that 53.3% of those previous dental visits were for general check-ups with a scale and clean, while another 11.8% went in for simple fillings.

Spokesperson for Compare the Market, Chris Ford spoke about the importance of good dental hygiene and how bad dental health could contribute to poorer health overall.

“It’s surprising to see that over half of Australians have not visited a dentist in the past year, given how much of our overall bodily health could be influenced just by what’s going in our mouth, especially if you don’t keep your teeth and gums clean,” Mr Ford said.

“From inflammation of the heart linings to respiratory diseases, the risk of these illnesses could be heightened by bad oral hygiene.

“And while there may be a stigma of fear surrounding a visit to the dentist, people should have more to fear about not booking a visit to the dentist, as many of these ailments could be prevented or treated through early detection.”

The survey data found that a third (32.7%) of respondents don’t have an extras policy. As for those who had an extras policy, general dental was the most used inclusion (47.6%), followed by optical (29.9%).

Compare the Market’s Head of Health Insurance, Lana Hambilton, spoke about how a private health insurance policy with extras can contribute towards the cost of some out-of-hospital services that Medicare might not pay a benefit for.

“An extras policy is a great way to save on many out-of-hospital services that Medicare typically does not pay a benefit for. With the cost-of-living climbing,  it’s important to ensure you are getting great value out of your extras policy. If you are paying for services you don’t use, or not satisfied with your returns, then it’s time to wake up to waste and compare your options,” Ms Hambilton said.

“Depending on your health fund and level of extras cover, you may even be entitled to have your teeth cleaned with no out-of-pocket costs by visiting an eligible dentist.

“With Dental Health Week here, it’s a good reminder of how important it is to look after your oral hygiene.

“I would advise anyone who hasn’t been to the dentist in at least the past 12 months to bite the bullet and book themselves in a general check-up and a clean. A bright smile could do wonders for your health.”

* Compare the Market surveyed 1,007 Australians aged 18 and over in June 2023.