10 May 2013

Kiwi dentist

So, the last teeth check up that we had was in September before we moved to New Zealand. Our insurance in the states covered all preventative care appointments every 6 months or so, with a mere $5 copayment.

Mike and I have been fortunate to have great teeth and neither of us have ever had a cavity. We both had wisdom teeth removed in our20s and otherwise have healthy dental hygiene.

Getting my teeth cleaned in NZ, however, cost me $137 dollars, and that was after I talked my way out of getting $30 X-rays of my teeth. Expensive!

The dentist then explained that NZ dentistry is 100 percent private and that many Kiwis simply cannot afford dentistry. Hence, the common knowledge that poor Kiwis are often missing teeth in their grin.

Puzzling that health care is funded by govt. , but dental care past 18 is not. School nurse dentists clean roughly and fix cavities of children yearly in school health checks, but no preventative maintenance on adults is funded by the government.

The dentist also did not give me a cute merchandise packet like in the states, no toothbrush or floss was handed out. I asked her for some freebies and I got some Sensodyne toothpaste sample and some pink tablets to chew to see hidden plaque after brushing.

Will I go back in 6 months? Maybe. The dentist is hoping I come back in 1-2 years! Craziness!


  1. Liz - $137 is not so bad i just spent $235 for cleaning and xrays with no insurance.

  2. I feel myself happy that I had my teeth cleaned today for free :) last check ups before moving NZ.

  3. Wow, I'm going to the dentist today; very happy that it'll be covered by insurance.

  4. There might be some differences in dental procedures in your new place, but it's good that you still follow regular dental checkups. Better invest in your oral health now than be sorry for losing your teeth and suffer through other dental problems later.

    Dentistry with a Smile