The landscape has changed for the profession of dentistry.
Post by Dr Jack Obaid, dentist
It’s tough economic times, and a lot of patients used to use the Medicare dental scheme which has now closed, so I think there’s going to be a bit of a squeeze in the profession. The reality of dentistry is we have to be more efficient and cost effective. And our competition nowadays is global.
There have been stories in the news lately of people going overseas for dental treatments. I understand that, but when you think about it, it’s not always the safest route to take. It is difficult for people to ascertain the qualifications of overseas dental practitioners and whether these would be recognised for qualification in Australia is also an area to be aware of.
According to the Australian Dental Association (ADA), many dental practitioners providing treatment to patients on overseas dental holidays would not be able to register as dentists in Australia, in line with the Australian Dental Board’s assessment of the suitability for practice in Australia of persons with overseas dental qualifications. Standards in Australia are very high and we are very lucky that we can afford to have those standards. Some overseas dentists will have those standards and some will not, but the ADA has said in the past that where overseas dentists do an assessment to be registered in Australia there is well under half the people actually meeting those standards, so that is an indication of the difference between Australia and the rest of the world.
Also, consumers face another issue regarding avenues for redress in the event of a problem with the treatment received. If something goes wrong in Australia you can go to the Health Services Commissioner or many of the ADA’s branches run complaint services, so you can use those avenues to get your money back or see another dentist. And if something is really bad and you can’t get redress through those other mechanisms then you can take legal action—overseas you don’t get any of that protection.
So the landscape for the profession has definitely changed. A lot of people say there’s deflation in dentistry. If you look over ten years, in real terms, the price of as crown has decreased. It’s why if you’re looking for a dentist in Sydney, it’s good to find someone who is available, and committed to the local area, and who can follow through on your dental plans.