A new government-funded dental scheme for children began on the 1st January, 2014. It is called the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) and replaces the previous Medicare Teen Dental Plan.

The CDBS will provide eligible children who receive certain government benefits – such as Family Tax Benefit Part A – with access to up to $1000 in benefits, capped over a two calendar year period that can be used towards the provision of certain dental services for children aged between 2 and 17 years. These services include examinations, xrays, cleans, fissure sealants, fillings and extractions among other basic services. Cosmetic dentistry, orthodontics and treatment in a hospital are excluded.

At The Dental Centre, we see this as a wonderful opportunity to make a positive impact on the oral health of the children and young adults living on the Coffs Coast. The significant advantages of the CDBS are that treatment is being offered to a wider age group and the range of treatment is not limited to simple preventative services but encompasses a far broader range of remedial options. With this scheme we can make a meaningful change to the dental health, and therefore overall health, of those children who have previously had little or no access to high quality dental care.

We have decided to bulk bill these services so there should be no out-of-pocket expenses so long as the treatment carried out does not go over the benefit cap.

There are around 3.4 million children who will receive a letter to confirm their eligibility during the course of the year. It would be terrific if you could help us to get information about this programme out to friends and family who may benefit be eligible., This is a tremendous opportunity to improve the dental health of the young people in this region and we are doing our best to encourage greater access to dental care for all eligible children through our choice to provide a “no gap” service.

The following section answers some of the most frequently asked questions about the CDBS. For further information on the Child Dental Benefits Schedule you can phone the Medicare general enquiry line on 132 011 or visit their website through this link: http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/medicare/child-dental-benefits-schedule


How do I know if I am eligible for the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) funding?

From January 2014, eligible families, teenagers and approved care organisations will receive a letter to confirm eligibility. A child’s eligibility is assessed at the beginning of each year and lasts the whole calendar year. A child is eligible if they are aged 2–17 years for at least 1 day of the calendar year, and are part of a family receiving certain government benefits as outlined on the Department of Health and Human Services website: http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/medicare/child-dental-benefits-schedule

You can confirm your child’s eligibility and balance amount by accessing your Medicare online account at my.gov.au or calling the Medicare general enquiries line on 132 011.

Do all dentists provide dental treatment under the CDBS?

Dentists can choose whether they will participate in the CDBS. Some dentists prefer not to treat children or may wish to avoid the administration associated with this programme. For this reason, it is a good idea to ask your prospective dentist specifically whether they are participating before attending for care.

Is treatment bulk billed or will parents need to pay a ‘gap’?

Fee arrangements will vary depending on which dentist you see. Dentists can choose to set their fees, with patients then claiming a partial rebate from Medicare after paying full fees. Alternatively, dentists may decide to ‘bulk bill’ for treatment so that no fee is payable directly by the patient. Patients of the Dental Centre will be able to take advantage of a bulk billing arrangement.

How should I choose a CDBS dentist for my kids?

It can sometimes be difficult to find a great kid’s dentist. Asking friends and family is often a good place to start. Many dental practices now also have web sites where you can learn about the facilities and staff. Look for dental clinics that make a special effort for kids. Signs that a dental practice is equipped to treat children include having a child-friendly area in their waiting room, fun and colourful treatment rooms and staff who are specifically trained and experienced in treating children. If your child is very nervous or has a condition that may make dental treatment difficult, it is a good idea to look for a clinic that offers sedation options such as nitrous oxide (“happy gas”) to make your child’s visit as comfortable as possible.

Community forums such as coffsforkids.com.au also provide recommendations from other parents in the community on which dental clinics provide positive dental experiences for children. If you are still not sure, consider visiting your prospective dentist’s office and taking a tour before you make your decision. You can take an online tour of our practice at www.coffskidsdentist.com.au

How can I access my family’s Child Dental Benefit Schedule funding?

Once you have received your eligibility letter and selected your dentist, you will need to book an appointment and advise that you are eligible for the Child Dental Benefits Schedule. When you attend, the dental practitioner will examine your child’s teeth and develop a care plan in accordance with the schedule guidelines to meet your child’s specific needs.

For further information on the Child Dental Benefits Schedule you can phone the Medicare general enquiry line on 132 011 or contact a participating dental clinic. To book an appointment at The Dental Centre or arrange a tour of our facilities, phone 66523344.


For more information please see the official
Child Dental Benefits Schedule website