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Confused as to which dental service you are eligible for?

Here's an EASY guide to help you out!


1) BABIES & PRE-SCHOOL CHILDREN - School Dental Service

Dental care is FREE for all babies and all children not yet at school via the School Dental Service.


2) CHILDREN AGED UP TO 18 YEARS - Child Dental Benefit Scheme

Eligible children can attend any dentist of your choice, as long as that practice accepts Child Dental Benefit Scheme patients.

Eligibility includes:

*children aged between 2 to 17 years old

*enrolled in Medicare

*parent/caregiver receiving any of the following payments – Family Tax Benefit Part A, Parenting Payment or Double Orphan Pension or ABSTUDY.

The Scheme is capped at $1000 over 2 consecutive calendar years, and will cover part or full cost for a range of dental services.

Dental services covered include examinations, x-rays, cleaning, fissure sealing, fillings, root canals, extractions. Dental services NOT covered include orthodontic dental work, cosmetic dental work and any services provided in a hospital.

The Department of Human Services assesses a child’s eligibility from the start of each calendar year.

If a child still requires more dental work after they have reached their $1000 over the 2 years, they can continue their treatment at the School Dental Service free of charge (see below).


3) CHILDREN AGED UP TO 18 YEARS - School Dental Service

All children and young people under 18 years of age are eligible to attend the School Dental Service regardless of their parent’s or guardian’s Pensioner Concession / Health Care Card status.

However, criteria applies to determine if the School Dental Service is FREE or if you will need to pay a fee of $45 per year per child.

The School Dental Service is FREE for children if they are under 18 years and covered by one of the following:

*The Medicare Child Dental Benefits Schedule

*A Pensioner Concession Card

*A Health Care Card

*A School Card

The School Dental Service will cost no more than $45 per year if a child is not covered by the above.  

The $1000 cap does not apply at the School Dental Service.

It is also worth mentioning again, that if a child who qualifies for the Child Dental Benefit Scheme has reached their $1000 cap over 2 years but still requires extra dental work, they can continue their treatment at the School Dental Service for free.


4) ADULTS - SA Dental Service

When a person turns 18, they are no longer able to attend a School Dental Service clinic. However, eligible adults can attend SA Dental Services for basic dental treatment. Long waiting times can apply for most dental services. To be eligible, adults need to have (or be dependant of a holder of) one of the following:

*a current concession card (Pensioner Concession Card or Health Care Card)

*a Department of Veterans’ Affairs Pensioner.

Fees for public dental care at a SA Dental Service clinic are as follows:

Emergency - $60

General – up to $155


5) ADULTS – Private Dentists

If an adult is not elibible to access public dental care through SA Dental Service, they will need to access dental care from a private dentist. If you do not have private health cover, many private dentists will offer payment plans so it is worth shopping around and asking for recommendations from family or friends



As private health cover can vary considerably depending on which company you are with, you will need to check your policy regarding dental treatments covered. 




School Dental Service (children) - a list of clincs

SA Dental Service (adults) - a list of clinics

Child Dental Benefit Scheme