Australian Dental Information
- Dental work is normally NOT covered under Medicare, although there are now two main exceptions to this:
- Medicare Chronic Disease Dental Scheme (details shown below)
- Medicare Teen Dental Plan (details shown below)
Changes to the Medicare Teen Dental Plan
The Medicare Teen Dental Plan will be replaced with Grow Up Smiling from 1 January 2014.
Eligible teens will be able to access the Medicare Teen Dental Plan until 31 December 2013. Benefits will continue to be paid for services provided to eligible teenagers before the date of closure.
Grow Up Smiling is a $2.7 billion measure which provides a Commonwealth funded capped benefit entitlement for basic dental services for children. Around 3.4 million children aged 2-17 in families who meet a means test will be eligible for benefits each year. The means test will be the same as the existing Medicare Teen Dental Plan, which requires receipt of Family Tax Benefit Part A or other certain government payments.
Services for basic essential dental treatment, such as check-ups, x-rays, fillings and extractions will be included, and patients will have access to dental benefit entitlements capped (indexed annually) over a two calendar year period. For 2014, the benefit is capped at $1000 per child.
The main option for Dental Treatment in Australia are the Private Dentists that are situated in most suburbs.
There are however some Government based Dental Facilities, eg: Dental Teaching Hospitals that are available for certain sections of the population, eg: those holding Health Care Cards.
Most of the Insurance companies will cover Dental treatment, but be aware to check levels of cover provided.
Primary School children do get a free Dental check when the Government Dental van visits each school normally once a year.
Dental Costs in Australia
For an idea of Dental fees, have a look at Noble Dentist. This page shows comparisons for prices of many Dental procedures in Australia, together with the lower rates available at their selected dentists.
An example of some normal/maximum dental costs quoted by them at March 2009 was:
- $ 72.00 Oral Exam – Periodic
- $207.00 White Filling – 2 Surfaces – Front Tooth
- $238.00 White Filling – 2 Surfaces – Back Tooth
- $328.00 Obturation – 1 Canal
- $701.00 Front Tooth Root Canal (One Canal) (Not Including X-Rays)
You do need to compare their prices against your own current dentist…
- Item 012 Oral Exam – Periodic : Maximum Fee $72.00 : NobleDentist cost $35.00. I last paid $36.00
- Item 022 X-Ray – Per Film : Maximum Fee $50.00 : NobleDentist cost $31.00. I last paid $34
- Item 531 White Filling – 1 Surface – Back Tooth: Maximum Fee $190.00 : NobleDentist cost $103.00. I last paid $115.00
Mine is just an average local dentist.
Comparing the example of my dental work in Nov 2008, costing $468, the normal/maximum prices quoted by NobleDentist would be $847, with NobleDentist charging $412. This would have saved me $56 compared to my dentist, but it may have been $435 cheaper than a dentist charging full rates.
An example of Dental costs as at November 2008:
- First Check up $41 reducing to $36 for subsequent 6 monthly check ups.
- Cleaning $79
- Fluoride Application $24
- Single X-Ray $34
- Single Filling $115
- 3 Surfs Filling $175
The total cost for the above was $468.
An idea of the 2006 dental charges for a wide range of treatment is at: Choice.com.au
Medicare Teen Dental Plan
A new system started in July 2008 where children aged 12 years and over receive an Annual Voucher, to a maximum of $150, for a single Dental Check up/Treatment at any Dentist.
The 2011 Medicare Teen Dental Plan Vouchers is valid for up to $159.85 worth of treatment, and can be used at any time up to 31st December 2011
Medicare Chronic Disease Dental Scheme
The Medicare chronic disease dental scheme was introduced in November 2007.
The scheme allows chronically ill people who are being managed by their GP under an Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) plan access to Medicare rebates for dental services.
More details at:
Closure of the Medicare Chronic Disease Dental Scheme. Government will seek to close the scheme by the end of 2011 http://acoss.org.au
Queensland School Dental service
All Queensland resident children four years of age or older who have not completed year ten at school are eligible for public sector oral health services.
There is no means test for this service.
- Source: www.health.qld.gov.au
General courses of oral health care are usually provided on-site at schools through fixed or mobile dental clinics. However some Districts are centralising their service model for providing oral health care to children and adolescents at larger dental clinics located within their District rather than on-site within schools.
Dental Health Services in Victoria
Dental Health Services Victoria offer some residents of Victoria a range of free or low cost dental services, and details of these can be seen at:
Children aged 12 and under whose parents dont hold a concession card pay a fee of $29 per child (maximum $116 per family) per course of care. Those whose Parents do hold a concession card are treated for free. This treatment is carried out at Community dental clinics and at The Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne.
South Australia School Dental
In South Australia the School Dental Service provides dental care, free of charge for all children up to the end of Primary School. This includes children who are not yet old enough to start school (pre-school children).
Secondary school students can also use the School Dental Service. Some secondary school students need to pay a small fee for their dental care.
Source: South Australia School Dental
Government Health Departments
- Dental Services under Medicare
- Victoria’s Public Dental System
- Queensland Public Oral Health Services
- WA Public Dental Health
- NSW Public Dental Health
Overseas Dental options
Travelling overseas is becoming popular for many people to save money and/or avoid long waiting times for public treatment.
The following links are examples only and I have no knowledge of their abilities.
Please check out any overseas options very carefully, as it is not easy to just ‘nip back’ for follow up treatment.