Regular dental check-ups are recommended for children from the age of 1, or within six months of the first tooth appearing. The good news is that there is help available for eligible families to meet the cost of caring for children’s teeth.
The Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) is a scheme run by Medicare that provides eligible children up to $1,000 over 2 calendar years to pay for a range of dental services. It is provided to children whose families are eligible for certain tax benefits, such as Family Tax Benefit A payments, and have lower household incomes.
Under the scheme, you can access a range of dental services including examinations, routine cleaning, fillings and root canals provided by a bulk bill dentist or Medicare dentist. If you are not sure if your dentist provides these services under Medicare, just ask.
The Child Dental Benefits Schedule provided by Medicare will not cover orthodontic treatments (eg teeth straightening), cosmetic dental procedures (the restoration or replacement of damaged or missing teeth) or any dental work that might need to be done in a hospital. (Again, if you aren’t sure what’s covered, just ask your dentist.)
The Child Dental Benefits Schedule is for children aged 2 to 17 who are eligible for Medicare and who also receive at least one other benefit from the Australian Government. You can check on the Child Dental Benefits Schedule website whether your child is eligible. Click here to know more.
Eligibility is assessed at the beginning of the calendar year. You or your child must meet the requirements for at least one day of the year. If you or your child become eligible during the calendar year (for example, if your child turns 2 during the year), they will receive a payment for the whole year. Any money you don’t spend in the first year will be carried over to the second year.
At your appointment, ask your dentist to explain the cost of treatment to you in advance. This will help you decide how you use your $1,000 allocation. (You can use it all at once if you need to or spread the allowance over the two calendar years.) If you happen to change dentists or aren’t sure how much allocation you have left to use, just ask your dentist to look it up.
Not all dentists perform services under the Child Dental Benefits Schedule. It’s best to check with your ineedadentist prior to booking in for treatment.
To find out more about the program, call Medicare on 132 011 or visit the Department of Human Services website. https://www.humanservices.gov.au