Four in ten adults avoided dental care because of cost
In 2020/21, four in every ten adults (39.8 percent) aged 15 years and over avoided going to a dental health care worker in the previous 12 months because of cost. This was more common for women (43.3 percent) than men (36.3 percent).
Children were least likely to avoid dental care because of cost
It was rare for the parents and caregivers of children aged 1–14 years (1.6 percent) and young people aged 15–17 years (2.4 percent) to report avoiding taking their child to a dental health care worker in the past 12 months because of cost. These low proportions are likely to be because children and adolescents have access to publicly funded basic oral health services up until their 18th birthday.
More adults avoided seeking dental care due to cost, ranging from half (50.7 percent) of those aged 25–34 years, down one in six (17.1 percent) adults aged 75 years and over.
- This data was taken from the 2020/21 New Zealand Health Survey Annual Data Explorer
- Highlights of what is being done to improve the oral health of New Zealanders
- Oral health resources for health professionals and the public
The parents or primary caregivers of children aged 1–14 years answered a question about whether they avoided taking their child to a dental health care worker in the past 12 months because of cost. The term ‘dental health care worker’ refers to dentists and other dental health care professionals, such as dental therapists and dental hygienists, as well as dental specialists, such as orthodontists.