Report of the National Advisory Council on Dental Health

Appendix E - Child Dental Services Provided by the States and Territories

The National Advisory Council on Dental Health (the Council) was established as a time-limited group to provide strategic, independent advice on dental health issues, as requested by Minister for Health and Ageing, to the Government. The Council’s priority task was to provide advice on dental policy options and priorities for consideration in the 2012-13 Budget.

Page last updated: 03 September 2012

The following table lists information about Child Dental Services provided by each state and territory.

State Eligibility criterion - Age Eligibility criterion - Card holder Services offered Co-payment
QLD Children over the age of four and those who have not completed Year 10 of secondary school.

Children under four years of age and those who have completed Year 10 are also eligible for publicly funded oral health care if they hold a Concession Card or are dependents of Concession Card holders.
N/A - All children who meet the age eligibility are able to access this program. Child and Adolescent Oral Health Services (formerly known as the School Dental Program).

Dental check-up, information on oral health and nutrition, x-rays, cleaning teeth, fluoride application, fissure sealants, fillings and extractions and referral to dental specialist where necessary.

Usually provided on-site at schools through fixed or mobile dental clinics.

Limited specialist services in some districts - means-tested and priority based.
No co-payment.
NSW All children under the age of 18 years. N/A - All children who meet the age eligibility are able to access this program. General dental services are available. The NSW Priority Oral Health Program weights access to dental services on the basis of severity and urgency of the condition. Priority access is given to children and those aged 0-5 years referred under the Early Childhood Oral Health Program.

Services are delivered in dental clinics based in schools, community health centres and hospitals.

Referral to a private dentist (via a voucher) may occur where public dental services are not available. Limited specialist dental services in some districts - means-tested and priority based.
No co-payment.
VIC Children aged 0-12 years. Young people aged 13-17 years who are Health Care or Pensioner Concession Card holders or dependants of Concession Card holders. Children and people up to 18 years of age in residential care provided by the Children Youth and Families division of the Department of Human Services.
Youth justice clients in custodial care up to 18 years of age.
After age 12, Health Care Card and Pensioner Concession Card holders have access to free care and priority access to public dental clinics. Dental check-up, information on oral health and nutrition, x-rays, cleaning teeth, fluoride application, fissure sealants, fillings and extractions where necessary, referral to dental specialist.

General dental services are delivered through community dental clinics in community health services, rural hospitals and the Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne.

Specialist dental services are available for children whose parents hold a Concession Card (mostly provided at the Royal Melbourne Dental Hospital).
Fees for public dental services apply to children aged 0-12 years who are not Health Care or Pensioner Concession Card holders or dependants of Concession Card holders.
Flat fee of $29 per child for a general course of care, which includes an examination and all general dental treatment. Fees per family will not exceed $116.
Co-payments apply for specialist dental services up to a maximum of $300 per course of specialist care (some exemptions apply).
TAS Children 0-18 years of age. The dental treatment following examination will be free if the child is covered by a Health Care Card. Dental check-up, information on oral health and nutrition, x-rays, cleaning teeth, fluoride application, fissure sealants, fillings and extractions where necessary, referral to private dental specialist.

Services are provided at Community Dental Clinics and in acute hospitals (where general anaesthetic is required).

No public specialist dental services are available for children within Tasmania. Children requiring specialist care have to use the private sector (although a small number with significant needs are referred interstate).
Free examination for all.

No co-payment for those covered by a Concession Card or under school age (0-5 years).

For all other children a $50 co-payment for non-card holders needing treatment.

All clients needing dental treatment outside general treatment guidelines (including specialist dental care) incur a further co-payment (dependent on treatment required).

A small number of children have interstate specialist treatment subsidised.
SA All preschool, primary school and secondary school students, aged less than 18 years, are eligible for oral health care with the School Dental Service.
Children over the age of 16 who do not attend an educational institution and do not have a Health Care Card are not eligible to attend school dental clinics.
Children who are dependants of or holders of the following concessions are eligible to receive free dental care:
• Centrelink Concession Card
&3149; DVA Pensioner Concession Card
• School Card
• Teen Dental Plan Voucher
Dental check-up, information on oral health and nutrition, x-rays, cleaning teeth, fluoride application, fissure sealants, fillings and extractions where necessary, referral to dental specialist.

Limited specialist dental services are available for children whose parents hold a Concession Card (mostly provided at the Adelaide Dental Hospital).
No co-payment for preschool children and. children who are dependents of Concession Card holders.

Those who are not covered by a Concession Card must pay a fee of $39 for each course of general dental care provided.

For specialist dental care co-payments of 20% of the DVA Local Dental Officers (LDO) Fee apply. Some exemptions apply.
NT Infants up to and including primary school age through school-based clinics, community clinics and mobile services. Older children (up to high school) can access free dental services at community clinics. N/A - All children who meet the age eligibility are able to access this program. Dental check-up, information on oral health and nutrition, x-rays, cleaning teeth, fluoride application, fissure sealants, fillings and extractions where necessary, referral to dental specialist if necessary.

Children whose parents hold a Concession Card with significant need are eligible for publicly funded specialist orthodontic treatment.
No co-payment.
WA Children from pre-primary through to Year 11 (Year 12 in remote locations) receive free preventive, emergency and general dental care. N/A - All children who meet the age eligibility and attend a recognised educational institution are able to access this program. Dental check-up, information on oral health and nutrition, x-rays, cleaning teeth, fluoride application, fissure sealants, fillings and extractions where necessary, referral to dental specialist.

Services are provided from fixed and mobile school dental service located at schools.

Specialist dental services are available for children whose parents hold a Concession Card (mostly provided at the Oral Health Centre of Western Australia).
No co-payment.
ACT Children under 5 who live in the ACT. Children 5-13 years of age who live or attend school in the ACT. Children under the age of 18 years living or attending school in the ACT and who are covered by a Centrelink Concession Card. N/A - All children who meet the age eligibility and attend a recognised educational institution are able to access the program. Centrelink Concession Card holders can access some additional services. Dental check-up, information on oral health and nutrition, x-rays, cleaning teeth, fluoride application, fissure sealants, fillings and extractions where necessary, referral to dental specialist.
Dental treatments, such as removable orthodontic appliances, are available to Concession Card holders.
There is a co-payment for children whose parents do not have a Concession Card.

Children aged 5-13 whose parents do not hold a Concession Card pay a co-payment of $55 per course of care.

Children under 5 years of age pay a co-payment of $55 for restorative or invasive treatment.

Top of page