5 tips to avoid an unexpected dental expense


Preventative dental care helps to limit the risk of experiencing a dental emergency, though it’s no guarantee – accidents can happen to any of us. If, however, our oral health is good to begin with, there is less risk of complications after treatment for a dental emergency.

Top 5 tips to avoid an unexpected dental expense

  1. See your dentist regularly for checks and preventative treatments such as cleaning, descaling and fluoride treatments. Potential problems are often detected before they become more complex.
  2. Always wear a custom-fitted mouthguard when playing sports. This will help to reduce the risk of having a dental injury. Wear your mouthguard during training sessions as well.
  3. Brush your teeth at least twice each day, floss daily and use fluoridated toothpaste. Care for your gums as they are the supporting structure that attaches your teeth to your jawbones.
  4. Never use your teeth ‘as tools’ for opening packets or wrapping. The shearing force can cause teeth to crack and fracture.
  5. Don’t ignore abnormalities or changes in your mouth and teeth. Book an appointment to see your dentist if you’re experiencing pain, swelling, discolouration or hot/cold sensations in your teeth.  You may be able to avoid a more complex procedure if you’re seen early.

What is a dental emergency?

By their nature, emergencies tend to happen when we least expect them – dental emergencies are no exception and can occur anytime. But while it may be tempting to put off seeing a dentist until it is more convenient or until there are more spare funds available, delaying may increase the risk of complications.

Dental emergencies generally involve pain, infection, swelling, bleeding, trauma, or a broken tooth.     Essentially, any acute problem in the mouth that is unpredictable and causes pain or changes in eating. Sometimes a dentist will need to stabilize the problem in a dental emergency so no additional damage is done, the tooth can be saved, and the pain is relieved. Follow-up appointments can then be arranged to provide a more permanent solution. Even if you’re unsure about what to do, book an appointment to see your dentist for an expert assessment.

How to afford a dental emergency

Even if you’re worried about how to manage the cost of emergency dental treatment, it’s important to be seen as soon as possible.

  • Speak with your dentist about a payment plan and your options.
  • Budget for the unexpected. Put some money aside in your budget for emergencies separate from your everyday spending.

Check with your health insurance provider to make sure you’re covered for dental treatments. Instant rebates are available if you have dental cover with your private health insurance. Book an appointment to see your dentist for an expert assessment.