This section of the department's website provides information about the government's dental initiatives.

Page last updated: 31 August 2016

Child and Adult Public Dental Scheme

On 23 April 2016, the Australian Government announced that it intended to establish a Child and Adult Public Dental Scheme in partnership with states and territories .

Legislation to establish the scheme was not passed by the Parliament before the Government entered into caretaker arrangements on 9 May 2016. The Government reintroduced this legislation on 31 August 2016 to commence the Child and Adult Public Dental Scheme from 1 January 2017.

The new scheme will assist the states and territories in providing access to dental care to patients with the greatest oral health needs in our communities.

The legislation will establish an ongoing capped special appropriation to fund agreements with the states and territories to provide assistance for public dental services provided to adults with concession cards and all children.

The Government envisages that the initial agreement will be for a period of five years.

Under the agreement, the Commonwealth will make funding available on an activity basis, paying a proportion of the efficient cost of every service delivered by the states and territories.

States and territories will continue to be responsible for managing and delivering services as they are now.

Legislation establishing the new arrangements will also close the Child Dental Benefits Schedule from 1 January 2017.

Child Dental Benefits Schedule

The Commonwealth provides assistance for 2-17 year olds through the Child Dental Benefits Schedule. On 31 August 2016, the Australian Government introduced legislation to close this program from 1 January 2017. Details about this program and its intended closure can be found on the Child Dental Benefits Schedule page.

National Partnership Agreement on Adult Public Dental Services

The NPA on Adult Public Dental Services provided the states and territories $155 million during 2015-16 for additional services to around 178,000 adult public dental patients.

Public Dental Services

For more details on public dental services in your state or territory, visit your State Health Department's website:

Information on the Commonwealth's dental health initiatives

National Oral Health Plan

The National Oral Health Plan provides strategic direction to strengthen the national oral system and reduce the burden of oral disease.

The Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives: National Oral Health Plan 2015-2024 was prepared by the Oral Health Monitoring Group, a subcommittee of the Community Care and Population Health Principal Committee which reports through the Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council to the COAG Health Council.

For further information on the Plan, please visit the COAG Health Council website.

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