About the CDBS
The CDBS was established in 2014 as a national, means-tested, program.
It provides eligible children aged 0–17 years with a capped benefit for basic dental services.
Visit the Services Australia site to find out more about:
Why it is important
Poor oral health early in life is the strongest predictor of further oral disease in adult life. Australia’s lower income households have a higher incidence of poor oral health. This can:
- have a significant impact on their overall health and wellbeing
- contribute to more significant health problems.
Access to dental services, prompt diagnosis and early treatment are key to:
- limiting the impact of children’s poor oral health
- reducing social inequalities.
The CDBS aims to improve access to dental services for children. This helps address declining child oral health and improve oral health of the broader population.
During the design and implementation of the CDBS, we consulted with key stakeholders on:
- how the program works
- the items and associated benefits that are covered by the schedule.
Meeting our goals
- develop the policy for the program
- monitor the program’s expenditure
- maintain the Guide to the Child Dental Benefits Schedule.
Independent reviews of the Act are done every 3 years. Under Section 68 of the Act, the Minister for Health sets the review terms of reference and appoints the review panel. We provide secretariat support to the panel and they report on the administration of the Act, including the operation of the CDBS.
Read the review reports.
Review of the Act
The fifth review of the Act is underway. The minister has appointed the following members:
- Professor Michael Kidd AM [Chair]
- Professor Paul Kelly
- Dr Andrew Barnes
- Dr Heather Cameron
- Dr Martin Hall
- Dr Peter King
- Dr Jessica Manuela
- Mr Tan Nguyen
- Dr Mihiri Silva.
The terms of reference for the fifth review are:
- The review panel will report on the administration of the Act and the extent to which it attains its purposes, including the operation of the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS).
- The review panel will assess the practical operation of the Act regarding the accessibility and delivery of services, and uptake (including barriers to uptake) of the CDBS by vulnerable cohorts, including an assessment of:
- service delivery to indigenous children and children in rural or remote communities
- children with an intellectual disability as identified in the National Roadmap for Improving the Health of People with Intellectual Disability
- The review panel may consider other opportunities to improve the operation and administration of the CDBS to allow for the efficient, effective and sustainable delivery of dental benefits and services.
The fifth review will be completed in 2023.
Who we work with
We work closely with Services Australia who are responsible for delivering administrative services under the CDBS, including CDBS benefit payments.