About dental health
Dental health in Australia has improved over the last 25 to 30 years. Changes such as adding fluoride to drinking water have helped to reduce tooth decay in children and adults.
But there is still room to improve. Dental health statistics show that in Australia:
- 3 in 10 people delay or avoid seeing a dentist because of the cost
- 1 in 4 children (aged 5 to 10) have untreated decay in their baby teeth
- 1 in 25 people (aged 15 and over) have no natural teeth left.
Make an appointment with your local public dental clinic
To help improve dental health, state and territory governments provide public dental services. Visit the website of your state or territory dental service to see if you’re eligible:
- Australian Capital Territory – ACT Health
- New South Wales – NSW Health
- Northern Territory – Department of Health
- Queensland – Queensland Health
- South Australia – SA Dental
- Tasmania – Oral Health Tasmania
- Victoria – Department of Health
- Western Australia – Dental Health Services.
If you have private health insurance, you may be able to claim for dental treatments. Learn more about extras cover.
What we’re doing about dental health
Child Dental Benefits Schedule
The Australian Government, through the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS), supports access to dental services for eligible children, aiming to help children develop and maintain good oral health early in life.
For parents and guardians
The CDBS covers part, or all, of the costs (up to $1026 over 2 calendar years) for basic dental services for children up to 17 years of age. Learn more about the CDBS, and whether your child is eligible, on Service Australia’s website.
For service providers
Services Australia also have information about the CDBS for dental service providers.
There are a range of resources to help you make sure claims paid under the CDBS:
CDBS – Resources for dental service providers
This collection contains information for dentists and dental practitioners on how to become a provider for the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS), requirements and obligations as a provider, how much it pays, and consent forms to complete when billing under the CDBS.
We work with state and territory governments to help fund public dental services and improve the oral health of all Australians. The National Oral Health Plan 2015–2024 sets out priorities.
- manage the government funding agreement with states and territories to provide more public dental services for adults
- help to organise independent reviews of the Dental Benefits Act 2008
- regulate and support dentists and dental practitioners
- encourage healthy eating to maintain oral health
- regulate dental devices through the Therapeutic Good Administration
- contribute to the funding of oral health population research through the