The Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) has been introduced to make dental care more affordable for families who are on Medicare and are receiving other government benefits.

Ideally, your child should see the dentist as soon as his or her first teeth emerge. With regular kids dental check-ups, the early signs of decay can be detected and treated. Regular visits to the dentist teach and reinforce good dental hygiene practices, which are essential for your child’s teeth to last a lifetime.

The CDBS provides an allowance of up to $1000 per eligible child to be spent on dental services, over a two-year calendar period. If you do not spend the full amount in the first year it will be carried into the second year. Any funds not used by the end of the second year will be forfeited.

What Kind Of Dental Services Are Covered By The CDBS?

Kids dental benefits under the schedule include routine check-ups and examinations, professional teeth cleaning, fillings and fissure sealing, x rays, tooth extractions, and root canal treatments. These treatments and procedures are available to a maximum amount of $1000 per child.

The CDBS does not cover orthodontic treatment and teeth straightening, cosmetic procedures and procedures that would be performed in a hospital environment. If you are unsure whether the procedures your kids need would be covered, check with your dentist.

Who Is Eligible For Child Dental Benefits?

Medicare will determine whether your child is eligible based on criteria such as:

Their age

Your child should be between the ages of 2 and 17 in the year in question.

Their Medicare status

Your child should qualify for Medicare and funds should be available in your account.

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Whether you receive other benefits from the government

Such as Family Tax Benefit Part A, Double Orphan Pension payments, Parenting payments, Carer payments, Youth Allowance, special benefit, disability support pension, assistance under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act Education and Training Scheme or assistance under the Veterans’ Children Education Scheme.

How Does the CDBS Work?

If your child qualifies for kids’ dental benefits, there is generally no waiting period and you can take the next available appointment. Find out whether the provider will accept CDBS when you make your appointment.

If you decide to have the treatment done in a public dental facility, the entire procedure will be covered with no out-of-pocket costs. If you decide to visit a private dentist you may need to cover the costs directly and claim back from the scheme afterwards.

It is recommended that you get a detailed treatment plan from your dentist that outlines the costs of treatment so that you can plan how to spend your allowance most effectively.  Check whether any of the treatments carry additional or out of pocket costs before going ahead with any work.

Remember though, that you cannot claim from the CDBS and your private insurance if you have private cover.


Prevention is better than cure and the CDBS empowers parents and children to take a proactive approach to dental care. To find out more about the schedule and its benefits for families, contact us: (02) 8074 3849 .

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