Toothache time bomb

Dentists recommend we have dental check-ups every six-to-12 months, however concerning new research has revealed that two in five Australians (39%) did not visit a dentist last year, and 61% delay dental treatments due to expense.

Financial comparison service Comparethemarket commissioned a survey of 1087 Australians to gauge whether we are delaying necessary dental check-ups and procedures, and why.

Worryingly, a fifth (21%) of respondents admitted they hadn’t been to the dentist for at least two years, and 15% said that it had been more than three years since they had their teeth checked.

Delaying oral treatment can lead to disease.

A routine dental exam, clean and fluoride treatment costs on average $66, with prices ranging from $51-92. Orthodontic treatment tends to be pricier, ranging from anywhere between $5000-9000.

In addition to the two-thirds (61%) of Aussies who would delay dental treatment due to costs, 16% said they would delay any procedure they needed that cost more than $150.

Dental treatment of any kind often is not covered by Medicare, and is usually paid when your procedure is finished.

The Australian Dental Association found the average cost for a filling is $175, a root canal $278, and a wisdom tooth extraction can cost anywhere between $500-3000. Other dental procedures range from $38 for fluoride treatment to $1,558 for a full crown (veneered).

Types of dental procedures people delay for themselves or their child to avoid costs

% that delayed procedure

Dental check ups


Caps or crowns




Orthodontic treatment (such as braces, retainer or a removable device)


Root canal


Dental scaling and cleaning






Tooth removal (such as wisdom teeth)


Dental x-rays


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