Problems I have with the NZ Dental Care industry

Admittedly, I will state my general impression of the Dental Care industry in New Zealand as a patient overall is not at all high. To cut a long story short, feel that the Dentistry offering in New Zealand is poor, unduly expensive and technologically backward (Lacking access to newer technology and treatment procedures as available in other countries). Issues include…

  • Different dentists offering very wildly different assessments as to what does or does not need to be done in the same given week ranging from “Just needing a clean and watch that tooth”, right through to “OMG, you need 7 extractions!”
  • Some dentists in the past have been very insistent on extracting my wisdom teeth certain that it would eventually cause me great pain – the last such case of a dentist insisting I remove my wisdom teeth was 15 years ago and there still no pain.
  • Had another dentist insistent on extracting a previously root canaled tooth advising it will cause me pain. I declined. That was 12 years ago and the tooth is still there and can be chewed on to this day without issue.
  • Insisting that my mercury fillings be removed to be replaced with white fillings. Declined. Mercury/Amalgam fillings still good after 10 years. The problem I have with white fillings is that they are far less durable and have less ability to withstand heavy chewing forces and am not convinced that there is enough trace mercury leakage to really cause an issue.
  • Finding a dentist and a dental practice that doesn’t keep changing over almost every year I attempt to call in for an appointment appears to be increasingly difficult – Turnover within the industry is phenomenal.
  • I also believe that the technology and techniques available here in New Zealand are quite bluntly increasingly outdated and behind the times in terms of the procedures being offered and accessible elsewhere in the world particularly in terms of gum / periodontal treatments.

As of mid June 2022, For now, have settled on using a newer Dental practice out in Ormiston for the more straightforward stuff (half yearly cleanings) as they appear to be more conservative and reasonably priced.

See also my own specific home care routine.

Problems I have with the NZ Dental Care industry