Child Dental Benefits Schedule

Learn about the policy work we do to support Australia's National Oral Health Plan through the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS). The schedule covers part or all of the cost of some basic dental services for eligible patients.

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.

The CDBS is administered under the Dental Benefits Act 2008 and the Dental Benefit Rules 2014.

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


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:
  • 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.


Dental health contact

Contact us for more information about dental health and the Child Dental Benefits Schedule. You can call Mondays to Fridays, during regular business hours, or email at any time.
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