The Australian Dental Association’s new president Dr Scott Davis has hit back at recent claims by the Reserve Bank governor that the cost of dentistry was helping to fuel inflation.
Responding to a comment from Michelle Bullock that “hairdressers and dentists, dining out, sporting and other recreational activities—the prices of all these services are rising strongly,” Dr Davis, who has just stepped into the peak body top job, said: “You don’t go to the dentist for economic advice, and the Reserve Bank shouldn’t be handing out healthcare advice.
“You cannot possibly equate hairdressing with dentistry. If you don’t get your hair cut it doesn’t have a serious knock-on effect on the rest of the body. If you ignore your oral health however, for which visiting the dentist is a vital part, then you could be risking a whole range of health complications from stroke to cardiac issues to poor pregnancy outcomes. The two simply aren’t on par.”
The ADA confirms that dental fees nationwide have only increased by 3.7 per cent, less than half the rate of inflation, based on its most recent fee survey (2020-2022) of its 17,500 members.
“Our member dentists have resisted passing on the rising costs of products and services in this inflationary climate, instead absorbing them into the cost of running a dental practice,” Dr Davis said.
“Dentists are all too aware that patients are struggling to pay for a range of essential services in their day-to-day lives.
“We want to keep dentistry affordable for millions of Australians.”