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# 171879 4-May-2015 12:49
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Given that dentistry is a key part of healthcare it seems odd that it is unfunded in so many places these days.

Some people, such as me, who have heart conditions are under additional medical requirement to attend to dentistry due to the risks of bacterial infection via teeth/gums causing Endocarditis.

I see why 'vanity dentistry' ought not to be a public expense and personally do not mind paying for dentistry per se if I must (although I HATE dentist visits more than anything) but it seems very illogical that surgery and drugs to treat endocarditis (say) would be funded yet far far cheaper regular dentistry to reduce the risk of that expenditure ever being required would not be. Sounds like a false economy.





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  # 1297608 4-May-2015 12:54
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If required due to financial status one can be referred to the dental unit at the public hospital




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  # 1297609 4-May-2015 12:56
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What do you mean by part of healthcare services? The public healthcare system?

What part of dentistry in particular? Detail Hygiene? Oral Surgery? Orthodontistry?

A lot of stuff is covered, particularly for kids/teenagers:
http://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/services-and-support/health-care-services/visiting-dentist/publicly-funded-dental-care

That would usually cover your preventative stuff early on - there are dental clinics in schools or that visit them. 


Basic and specialist dental services are funded for children and adolescents up to the age of 17 years.



You have to pay privately for the majority of adult dental services.



A limited range of dental services are funded for some adults

People with disabilities or medical conditions such as mouth cancer may be referred to a hospital for their dental treatment by their usual dental practitioner or GP
People on low incomes who have a Community Services Card may be able to get emergency dental care, such as pain relief or extractions
In some regions, people with a Community Services Card may be able to receive basic dental treatment.


Seems pretty reasonable to me. It is possible to get insurance cover for dentist visits but this is usually an optional extra, not part of basic policies.

I think people should be less afraid of the dentist. A visit with a clean, scrape and polish is far better than rotten/infected teeth or chronic tooth pain. The more people say it is scary and painful the less people visit.

I currently have braces so am no stranger to paying for teeth work (7k+).

 
 
 
 


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  # 1297631 4-May-2015 13:36
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MikeB4: If required due to financial status one can be referred to the dental unit at the public hospital


They're still very expensive - my brother is on a benefit and needs work due to a significant infection in his gums, he was to wait a few weeks to see them and it'll cost someone $1000 or more (not him as he doesn't have it).

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  # 1297645 4-May-2015 14:28
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When I was 20 my wisdoms came through in the middle of a semester. Was gonna start around 2.5K to get them out at my local dentist with basic sedation, strongly advised against by everyone I knew. Even then, what kind of 20 year old can afford that on such short notice? 

Fortunately a well off family member paid for me to get it done under GA, 6-7K all up. Mind boggling amount of money. Not everyone can afford that, and few will be as lucky. 

Essential dental care should be covered, cosmetic stuff like teeth whitening or false teeth (unless you're missing so many you cannot eat or talk properly) should not. It's such an integral part of the body I don't understand why it's not paid for under the health system. 




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  # 1297649 4-May-2015 14:37
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Regular checkups and basic fillings etc are as much a part of healthcare as fixing broken bones and hernia repair I would say.

Sure, getting that Hasselhoff Smile is vanity dentistry, but basic checkups and maintenance do not seem any less a part of healthcare than going to your GP - which only costs about $50.

It just seems odd that one kind of medical attention is more or less free at the point of use, and the other isn't - despite their interactions.

For example, in my case a dental bill of (say) $500 a year could prevent a medical emergency costing tens of thousands. I am sure there are other instances of similar nature.

I'm not really arguing one way or the other, merely curious as to why it has been left out when attending a GP has not. Seems illogical.





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  # 1297651 4-May-2015 14:49
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Geektastic: Regular checkups and basic fillings etc are as much a part of healthcare as fixing broken bones and hernia repair I would say.

Sure, getting that Hasselhoff Smile is vanity dentistry, but basic checkups and maintenance do not seem any less a part of healthcare than going to your GP - which only costs about $50.

It just seems odd that one kind of medical attention is more or less free at the point of use, and the other isn't - despite their interactions.

For example, in my case a dental bill of (say) $500 a year could prevent a medical emergency costing tens of thousands. I am sure there are other instances of similar nature.

I'm not really arguing one way or the other, merely curious as to why it has been left out when attending a GP has not. Seems illogical.


Scratch hernia repair, thats not covered ny health system now. Unless you are in writhing pain, you need to pay circa 5-8k

Perhaps dentistry is seen the same, its not life threatening, so live with it or pay for it

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  # 1297661 4-May-2015 14:54
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I would say the reason would be economics.

Subsidized doctor visits cost tax dollars - if you want to subsidize dentist visits then how will that be paid for? I'm sure there are some heavy maths involved in cost vs benefit. It very quickly becomes a capitalist vs socialist argument.

Where do you draw the line? Basic consults? Do you include X-Rays ($120 a go)? Minor surgery? Major surgery?

As it stands the basics are covered up to 17 which I think is pretty good. I would love it if all dental was free, but I realize that isn't financially realistic. I would rather pay for my dental and insurance than get hammered with a higher tax rate. We are lucky to have the public health care available that we do.

As far as unexpected wisdom teeth extraction - yeah it sucks. I was lucky to have medical insurance through work when I had mine. I now have medical insurance to cover surgery.




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  # 1297665 4-May-2015 14:57
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Dentistry can be life threatening, infection can spread to the brain and kill. I suspect in that serious a case there may be a capability.

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  # 1297670 4-May-2015 15:08
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timmmay: Dentistry can be life threatening, infection can spread to the brain and kill. I suspect in that serious a case there may be a capability.


Thats an exception. If we include hernias and dentistry in the health system thats cool, tax will rise for everyone. Or force insurance. Hernais unless there is big pain is not life thrreatening, neither is missing teeth, gum infections, cavities. If any opf these gave rise to an infection, that then becomes a non dental medical issue. I do recall when I had a heart op last year I had to go to the dentist for a test, re your reason above

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  # 1297676 4-May-2015 15:17
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tdgeek:
timmmay: Dentistry can be life threatening, infection can spread to the brain and kill. I suspect in that serious a case there may be a capability.


Thats an exception. If we include hernias and dentistry in the health system thats cool, tax will rise for everyone. Or force insurance. Hernais unless there is big pain is not life thrreatening, neither is missing teeth, gum infections, cavities. If any opf these gave rise to an infection, that then becomes a non dental medical issue. I do recall when I had a heart op last year I had to go to the dentist for a test, re your reason above


Or if we collected tax on their overseas companies that trade in the NZ market, but are based offshore as get around paying tax, this would likely more than cover those sorts of costs. I don't think we should have the need in NZ for health insurance, if everyone paid their fair share of tax.

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  # 1297677 4-May-2015 15:18
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tdgeek:
Geektastic: Regular checkups and basic fillings etc are as much a part of healthcare as fixing broken bones and hernia repair I would say.

Sure, getting that Hasselhoff Smile is vanity dentistry, but basic checkups and maintenance do not seem any less a part of healthcare than going to your GP - which only costs about $50.

It just seems odd that one kind of medical attention is more or less free at the point of use, and the other isn't - despite their interactions.

For example, in my case a dental bill of (say) $500 a year could prevent a medical emergency costing tens of thousands. I am sure there are other instances of similar nature.

I'm not really arguing one way or the other, merely curious as to why it has been left out when attending a GP has not. Seems illogical.


Scratch hernia repair, thats not covered ny health system now. Unless you are in writhing pain, you need to pay circa 5-8k

Perhaps dentistry is seen the same, its not life threatening, so live with it or pay for it


actually Hernia repairs are still covered by the health system and not only if you are in writhing pain, my 23 year old son is going in for one in a couple of weeks and he is not in much pain and he only had to wait 3 months .




Common sense is not as common as you think.


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  # 1297682 4-May-2015 15:24
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tdgeek: Scratch hernia repair, thats not covered ny health system now. Unless you are in writhing pain, you need to pay circa 5-8k


Must depend on DHB, neighbour fronted up to his GP with suspected hernia in afternoon was referred to Wgtn Hospital operated on that night and home before lunch next day.

Maybe the sugar taxes some people are promoting could finance more dentistry. Too many rotten teeth are self inflicted by poor diet and lack of cleaning.

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  # 1297700 4-May-2015 15:32
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mattwnz:
tdgeek:
timmmay: Dentistry can be life threatening, infection can spread to the brain and kill. I suspect in that serious a case there may be a capability.


Thats an exception. If we include hernias and dentistry in the health system thats cool, tax will rise for everyone. Or force insurance. Hernais unless there is big pain is not life thrreatening, neither is missing teeth, gum infections, cavities. If any opf these gave rise to an infection, that then becomes a non dental medical issue. I do recall when I had a heart op last year I had to go to the dentist for a test, re your reason above


Or if we collected tax on their overseas companies that trade in the NZ market, but are based offshore as get around paying tax, this would likely more than cover those sorts of costs. I don't think we should have the need in NZ for health insurance, if everyone paid their fair share of tax.


Apple?

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  # 1297703 4-May-2015 15:36
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vexxxboy:
tdgeek:
Geektastic: Regular checkups and basic fillings etc are as much a part of healthcare as fixing broken bones and hernia repair I would say.

Sure, getting that Hasselhoff Smile is vanity dentistry, but basic checkups and maintenance do not seem any less a part of healthcare than going to your GP - which only costs about $50.

It just seems odd that one kind of medical attention is more or less free at the point of use, and the other isn't - despite their interactions.

For example, in my case a dental bill of (say) $500 a year could prevent a medical emergency costing tens of thousands. I am sure there are other instances of similar nature.

I'm not really arguing one way or the other, merely curious as to why it has been left out when attending a GP has not. Seems illogical.


Scratch hernia repair, thats not covered ny health system now. Unless you are in writhing pain, you need to pay circa 5-8k

Perhaps dentistry is seen the same, its not life threatening, so live with it or pay for it


actually Hernia repairs are still covered by the health system and not only if you are in writhing pain, my 23 year old son is going in for one in a couple of weeks and he is not in much pain and he only had to wait 3 months .


Really? I have two, inguanal, that I diagnosed and told doctor!    He said they are not elective anymore, they are not done, the private sector do them. Circa $3k or 5k maybe for both, but that was maybe 3 years ago, had heart op last year, so can do anytime now. I need to get prescription soon, I'll ask again, although I did ask a year ago as there was a charity doctor doing them for free here in CHC, but no, still not elective

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  # 1297706 4-May-2015 15:38
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Bung:
tdgeek: Scratch hernia repair, thats not covered ny health system now. Unless you are in writhing pain, you need to pay circa 5-8k


Must depend on DHB, neighbour fronted up to his GP with suspected hernia in afternoon was referred to Wgtn Hospital operated on that night and home before lunch next day.

Maybe the sugar taxes some people are promoting could finance more dentistry. Too many rotten teeth are self inflicted by poor diet and lack of cleaning.


Many taxes are bad as they tax all to benefit a few. A sugar tax, and in fact any tax on any product that can/may/will cause health issues should be targeted, thats a great idea.

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