Child and Adult Public Dental Scheme

The introduction of the new Child and Adult Public Dental Scheme will improve access to public dental services from 1 July 2016. Payments will be made directly to states and territories to improve patient waiting times and help more concession card holders.

Page last updated: 03 May 2016

Printable PDF version Child and Adult Public Dental Scheme (PDF 202 KB)

Why is this important?

  • On average, 30 per cent of adults have untreated tooth decay. This rate doubles for adults on low incomes and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • The Government is committed to reducing the strain on the health system arising from dental problems, including recurrent visits to GPs or emergency departments for pain management, preventable hospitalisations and other health issues.
  • The Child and Adult Public Dental Scheme will ensure the Government targets those with the greatest dental need – adult concession card holders, as well as children.
  • Children who were eligible for services through the Child Dental Benefits Schedule will be able to access the new scheme.
  • State and territory governments will balance demand, be paid directly, and focus on reducing waiting times.

Who will benefit?

  • More consumers on concession cards will benefit from the Child and Adult Public Dental Scheme.
  • State and territory governments will have greater funding certainty to improve waiting times and help more eligible patients.

How much will this cost?

This measure is ongoing and will cost $1.7 billion from 2015–16 to 2019–20, commencing 1 July 2016.