Dental health

Having healthy teeth, mouth and gums is important for your general health and wellbeing. It means you can eat, drink and speak without pain or discomfort. Find out what we’re doing to support dental health services in Australia.

Australia’s National Oral Health Plan 2015–2024

Learn about our national plan to promote healthy mouths, healthy lives.

Child Dental Benefits Schedule

Find out more about the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS).

CDBS resources for dentists

Use this collection of resources for dental practitioners when providing services to patients under the CDBS.

Reviews of the Dental Benefits Act 2008

Read the reports of our regular reviews of the Dental Benefits Act 2008.

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:

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.

    The CDBS is a legislative scheme defined under the Dental Benefits Act 2008 and Dental Benefits Rules 2014.

    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:

    Is your child eligible for the Child Dental Benefits Schedule

    To find out if your child is eligible:

    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.

    View the collection

    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.

    We also:

    Resources

    Resources

    Report on the Fifth review of the Dental Benefits Act 2008

    This independent review of the Dental Benefits Act 2008 looked at the operation and administration of the Act in relation to the Child Dental Benefits Schedule. The report was tabled in the Australian Parliament on 2 August 2023.

    Contact

    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.