The dental landscape in Australia has changed significantly over the years due to advancements in healthcare technology, eating habits, and a greater awareness of oral health. As a trusted local dentist in Melbourne, Australia, we at Elevate Dental understand that getting information on dental issues can be difficult. Whether you are considering undergoing a specific dental procedure or looking for an overview of oral health trends, being aware of these statistics will be valuable.
This article aims to showcase the latest data available on dental statistics in Australia and shine a light on Australians’ overall oral health. These 20 must-know statistics are a reliable resource for those looking to stay updated on dental care in Australia.
Table of Contents
- Dental Decay Statistics
- Dental Visit Statistics
- Dental Cost Statistics
- Oral Health Statistics
Dental Decay Statistics
1. Over 40% of Australians aged 5-10 have primary teeth decay
More than 4 in 10 Australian children have experienced decay in their baby teeth, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). In addition to bouts of sharp pains, severe decay in baby teeth has serious consequences for a child’s speech, jaw, and teeth development. Paediatric dentistry is vital for kids to have a healthy smile!
2. 11% of Australians aged 6-14 had one permanent tooth with decay
According to a recent study by the AIHW, more than 1 in 10 children in Australia aged between 6-14 had one permanent tooth with decay that remains untreated. For young Australians afflicted with tooth decay, some of the most common reasons include diet, poor dental hygiene, dry mouth, and even certain medications.
3. The average Australian child has 3.4 decayed teeth
This statistic includes Australian children under the age of 12 that have decayed, missing or extracted due to decay, or filled teeth, according to the National Oral Health Plan (NOHP). This average of dental caries is an important measure of oral health.
4. Australians aged 15 years and over are missing 5.7 teeth on average
The latest research from AIHW reports that the average Australian of 15 years and above is missing more than 17% of their permanent teeth. Missing permanent teeth can cause a number of issues from a loss in ability to chew food properly, to speech difficulties.
5. The number of missing teeth in Australians increases with age
The average number of missing teeth rises from 3.2 for Australians aged 15–34 years up to 13 for those aged 75 years and over. Specialising in restorative dentistry in Melbourne, we see common causes of missing teeth as tooth decay, gum disease and injury.
Dental Visit Statistics
6. 49% of Australian adults made dental visits in the past year
1 of every 2 Australians aged 15 years and over has not visited the dentist in the previous 12 months, according to the Patient Experience Survey. At Elevate Dental, we encourage our patients to make regular visits at least once or twice a year to maintain good oral health.
7. More females consult dental professionals than males in Australia
According to the National Health Survey 2020-21, over half (52%) of all females in Australia paid a visit to the dentist in the past year. Comparatively, less than half (45%) of all Australian males saw a dental professional during this same period.
8. Tooth decay is the top problem at dental visits
According to a study conducted by AIHW, 61% of problems found at dental visits are about tooth decay, with gum disease as the next most reported dental problem by Australian adults at 21%.
9. 62% of all adult dental visits are for check-ups
The AIHW reported that routine check-ups are the most common reason for dental visits. Dental problems make up 27% of visits to the dentist for Australian adults.
10. Australians with dental insurance visited the dentist more
Private dental practices in Australia saw more visits from those who had dental insurance (95%) than those without (69%), according to the National Dental Telephone Interview Survey.
Dental Cost Statistics
11. A dental check-up in Australia costs $125 on average
The most recent data from the Australian Dental Association shows that Australians will to pay roughly $125 for a routine dental check-up, which involves an examination and cleaning of the teeth, gums, and mouth.
12. A dental filling has an average cost of $250
The Australian Dental Association also revealed that this common treatment for tooth decay can cost anywhere between $121 to $305, The cost of this service can rise depending on the number of surfaces that need filling, as well as the position of the tooth.
13. $1,026 in benefits for dental services are available for Australian children
Children up to 17 years of age are eligible for the Child Dental Benefits Schedule, which is funded by the Australian Government and covers basic services like check-ups, filling, extractions, and root canals.
14. Australian adults can receive up to $4250 in subsidies for dental services
Under the Medicare Benefits Schedule, adults can claim subsidies for dental services from eligible dental practitioners. This amount can be claimed over 2 consecutive years, resetting on 1 January annually.
15. The overall cost of dental services has gone up by 30% from the early 2000s
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics Household Expenditure Survey, Australians are now spending an average of $7.62 per week on dental services.
Oral Health Statistics
16. 43% of Australian children have a moderate accumulation of plaque
The National Child Oral Health Study found that more than 4 in 10 children between the ages of 5-14 years had a visible build-up of plaque on their teeth: a sign of improper brushing and a contributor to tooth decay.
17. 29% of Australian adults have gingivitis
Recent data from the National Study of Adult Oral Health (NSAOH) shows that almost 3 in 10 adults suffer from mild gum disease. Frequent brushing can help to remove bacteria around the teeth and prevent gingivitis.
18. 1 out of 4 Australian adults avoid eating certain foods due to teeth problems
In the previous 12 months, 24% of adults in Australia have had to modify their diets due to dental issues, as seen in the NSAOH. Issues such as sensitive teeth and toothaches can cause discomfort and pain when consuming specific foods.
19. The relative survival rate for oral cancers in Australia is 76%
According to data from AIHW, oral cancers can be detected by dentists through oral examinations. This includes cancer of the lip, tongue, mouth, and salivary glands. Treatment for oral cancers relies heavily on early detection.
20. 97% of Australian adults brush their teeth at least once a day
The NSAOH reported that almost every Australian adult engaged in tooth brushing at least one time every day. However, most dentists recommend brushing teeth at least twice or more daily.
Getting the Right Dental Care
Taking care of your teeth is a good habit to cultivate; don’t wait till it’s too late to start practising good oral hygiene. Dental care is something that everyone in Australia, young or old, should care about.
At Elevate Dental, our Richmond dentists understand that dental visits can be an uncomfortable experience for many. That’s why we specialise in providing an affordable and comfortable experience for all our patients. Our professional team of oral health hygienists, dentists, and dental specialists is committed to giving you the right dental service so that you can smile and live with confidence.