No Gaps Dental? What Is It, and How Can It Save You Money?
We all know dental care is expensive in Australia. How do we figure out the best financial and "for real" oral care benefit options for us?
The amount of information can be overwhelming without some additional help.
Here are just a few of the many questions people wonder about when they start thinking about their oral health.
- Should I get private cover?
- Does Medicare cover me?
- What's a waiting period?
- What is “general” dental coverage?
- What is “major” dental coverage?
- What are cover limits?
- What is No Gaps Dental (NGD)?
Although this article is about the No Gaps dentistry option and how it might save you some money, along the way we also hope to give you a couple of other ideas to consider about your dental care options and provide some prevention pointers .
Some helpful information that may make understanding your dental care less ... shall we say, painful?
So Just Exactly What Is No Gaps Dental (NGD)?
What do I get?
If you have private insurance with any dental insurance fund and go to a participating No Gaps network dentist for the following services, you will have no out-of-pocket expenses. Your dentist has already accepted a negotiated price paid by your particular insurance fund.
- Consultations for basic treatment
- Scaling and cleaning
- Basic fillings
What do I have to do to participate?
- Have private insurance.
- See a network NGD dentist.
- Be insured on the day of treatment.
- Have your current health card the same day of treatment.
- Make sure you have not reached your monetary or service limit for your private insurance.
- Make sure your dental insurance payments are paid up to date.
Warning! If you forget to do those few things and you get treatment, you will be charged the full price that day.
Let's look at an example:
You receive a consultation, a teeth cleaning, x-rays, a fluoride treatment, and one basic filling. All of these are considered preventative services.
You have no private insurance.
You have private dental insurance and go to a NGD dentist.
You have private dental insurance and go to a non-NGD dentist.
If you have public dental benefits, NGD is not available. You can explore your public options at this government website.
Can It Save Me Any Money?
We wish there was an easy answer to this question. It depends.
- How old are you?
- What shape are your teeth in?
- How much do you spend on dental insurance?
- Do you think you may have major dental needs in the future?
- What does science say?
Many dental authorities say that over the long haul, preventative services like those of NGD will save you money by reducing dental care needed over a lifetime. There is some evidence that these services may actually help prevent other illnesses such as heart disease. Worth thinking about.
If you are young and your teeth are in great shape, maybe for a few years, it might be cheaper to pay the going rate for preventative services and purchase private insurance later.
If you are more mature, let's face it, dental needs usually increase the older you get. Maybe it's time to think about some premium private dental coverage.
You need to sit down and evaluate your own personal dental situation. It wouldn't hurt to ask your dentist for their opinion on No Gaps Dental.
Investigate your private insurance options.
We do not recommend resorting to any dental options like this!
Australia's National Oral Health Plan 2015-2024 is looking out for you and your teeth!
Credit: COAG health council Australia
Their vision: "Provide an integrated national oral health system, as part of the broader health system, that provides equitable access for people in Australia to prevention, promotion and clinically appropriate, timely and affordable oral health care."
You can find more of this helpful dental advice at Australia's premier website for all things dental