The Smile Dental Plan Review: What’s All the Fuss About? - Dental Guide Australia

The Smile Dental Plan Review: What’s All the Fuss About?

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Have you seen a dentist in the last year, had an exam, needed a root canal or other expensive work, and then decided to not go ahead with the treatment because of the cost? You’re not alone.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, in a recent ABC News story, reports that onethird of Australians avoid going to the dentist because of cost.Twenty per cent of us who have private health insurance still end up cancelling needed dental care because we just can’t afford it.

In this article, we’ll fill you in on the Smile Dental Plan (SDP). Finding private health funds that provide dental coverage which addresses a person’s unique oral condition for the best price can be daunting. Even if the best health fund match-up is found, dental services may still be financially out of reach.

SDP is a completely different kind of dental savings plan that may make your dental care affordable. Why the fuss? It’s not at all like any other of Australia’s common and traditional private health fund insurances, rebates, public dentistry, and health or concession cards.

What is the Smile Dental Plan?

SDP is NOT insurance.

Dental extras that are part of your overall health fund insurance plan AREinsurance products.

The Smile Plan scheme boils down to this:

  • Join the Smile program.
  • Find a participating Smile dentist.
  • Present your Smile membership card to the dentist or office staff.
  • Confirm your discount!
  • Receive your dental care.
  • Pay the full dental fee balance minus the discount.
  • Obtain your receipt.
  • Claim back your rebate from your health fund using your receipt.

The steps are that easy. Let’s go over the pros and cons of the SDP.


  • There are no waiting lists.
  • There is no yearly monetary cap on services.
  • There are no exclusions for any dental service. It even covers dental veneers.
  • Anyone can join, including non-citizens.
  • Dentists are vetted by Smile.
  • Membership fees are reasonable.
  • There are no pre-existing condition exclusions.
  • Smile periodically checks to see if participating dentists are following the Smile fee schedule rules.
  • Some health funds (e.g., “Defense”) may have the Smile program included.
  • Advertised special offers.


  • Members must use Smile participating dentists.
  • Members referred to dental specialists may have difficulty finding one who participates in the Smile program near their location.
  • There is a cancellation fee.

Mucking through every possible individual dental scenario to see if the Smile program is worth getting is not possible in this article. You will need to do some research on your own, but we’ll give you some general tips to help you decide.

Is Smile Worth It?

What best describes your situation?

“I Have private health insurance already with dental extras”

  •  You have great teeth.
  •  You usually only need an exam and clean as a part of your preventive oral health.
  •  You have No Gaps Dental as part of your insurance.

With the above,a Smile plan is probably not needed. But if you expect that you will have some expensive dental work soon.

Verdict: A Smile plan may save you additional money.

“I don’t have private health insurance”

  • You have great teeth.
  • You only need an exam and clean.
  • You need major dental work soon.

Verdict: A Smile plan is a very good idea for you.

One of the things to consider when dealing with any health care company is their mission statement. The Smile Dental Plan has a mission statement that the average Australian can get behind even if they never join.

“Smile's mission is to make quality dental care more affordable and accessible for the people of Australia. We believe that a beautiful smile and good breath raises our self-esteem, confidence and spirit. We believe that good oral health leads to a healthier and happier life. We also know that poor oral health is linked to serious health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, premature birth and Alzheimer's. So, we want to ensure that everyone can visit a dentist regularly.” – Source:

At Dental Guide Australia, we bring you helpful tips, information and resources that reflect a similar mission.Visit out homepage for more dental health advice in Australia.

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