Matakana dentist Vivek Jain says anyone struggling financially in the wake of Covid-19 should get in touch with their dentist to discuss payment options.
Dr Jain says loss of income and the fear of losing their jobs has prompted many patients to delay dental treatment, but this is a false economy.
“Dental problems will continue to magnify in the background and make future treatment more expensive,” he says.
These problems can in turn have an impact on a patient’s wider health and wellbeing.
Dr Jain says most dental practices can advise on third party finance options and provide quotes for work which might well qualify for assistance from Work and Income.
Some practices offer subsidised treatment for those with a community services card. Dr Jain adds that routine dental treatment is free for children under 18.
Dr Jain says dentists know exactly what patients under pressure are going through, with practice revenues during the lockdown period a mere fraction of what they were during the same period last year.
He says dental practices are saddled with high overhead costs and as private businesses get no government funding.
“While the Government’s wage subsidy has been very helpful, many dental practices I know of are struggling to stay afloat. The effects of this in the long term remain to be seen,” he says.