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Dental Care in Australia 

Australians have access to many dental care resources. Whether they want to learn how to better care for their dental health or they are in need of dental treatment, these resources offer advice, direction, and improved dental health. 

Oral health is closely connected with general health. Tooth decay could be a sign of other health problems, including heart disease. 

This is one of the many reasons why oral health care is so important.  

The oral health of Australians has improved over the last two to three decades. But this doesn’t mean there couldn’t be more improvement. There are many people in the country that for one reason or another have poor dental health. 

Dental Statistics in Australia

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW):1

  • Around one-fifth of adults 15 years and older avoided or delayed dental care due to cost from 2019 to 2020.
  • Adults aged 15 years and over had an average of 11.2 decayed, missing, and filled teeth from 2017 to 2018.
  • With earlier treatment, more than 70,000 hospitalizations for dental conditions may have been prevented in Australia from 2017 to 2018.

Australian Oral Hygiene Resources

Different dental hygiene resources are available for Australian populations. 

Resources for Adults

Dental resources for adults in Australia include:

Australian Dental Foundation 

The Australian Dental Foundation works to eliminate inequalities in oral health treatment in Australia. The foundation believes most oral health conditions are preventable if dentists address them early.

The foundation also acknowledges that people with disabilities face the poorest oral health and most significant barriers to receiving proper dental care.

More than 40,000 Australians have received support from the foundation. This includes:

  • Facilitation and expansion of adequate and timely primary healthcare for all Australians
  • Access to resources that improve oral hygiene
  • Improved dental health services and outcomes
Australian Dental Association (ADA)

The Australian Dental Association provides dental health information, including dentist and dental office accreditation.

Accreditation requires a dentist to undergo a review process in which they must adhere to strict dental care standards. A governing body then evaluates and acknowledges the dental office’s or dentist’s commitment to improving quality care and patient safety.

Not every reputable dental office is accredited. This doesn’t mean they are unsafe or that they do not provide proper care. However, accredited offices have taken the extra step to ensure top-notch healthcare.

Other dental health resources available for Australian adults include:

Resources for Children

Pediatric dental care is an important component of a child’s overall health. Parents and caregivers should implement at-home dental care practices and dental office visits as soon as children begin teething.

The goal of childhood dental care is to prevent infection, cavities, and pain. 

Some parents assume early dental care and tooth decay aren’t important because children lose their baby teeth, but this isn’t true. Decaying baby teeth can cause permanent damage to adult teeth.

Australia prioritizes pediatric dental care. As a result, there are several available resources, including public dental services, to help Australian children maintain good dental health. 

These resources include:

Free Dental Healthcare for Children through Medicare

Some Australian children are eligible for free dental healthcare. Information about eligibility is available through the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS). This program provides up to $1,026 (AUD) in benefits per year to children 2 years and older.

Funding covers:

  • Checkups
  • Basic dental services
  • Cavity fillings

Whether or not your child qualifies for coverage depends on:

  • Eligibility for Medicare coverage
  • Age
  • Payments from Services Australia

In some cases, private health insurance coverage also covers a portion of dental care costs in addition to CDBS. This is known as “gap payment” because the CDBS coverage leaves a gap in payment.

Dental Health Services Victoria

Dental Health Services Victoria (DHSV) was created in 1996 to provide dental health services to Victoria residents. The organization provides services through the Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne (RHM). The Victorian government funds it, and it provides clinical dental services from more than 50 regional health agencies.

Resources for Aboriginal People

Free public dental services are available for the Aboriginal Australians. This includes all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island adults and children.

Aboriginal Australians have lived on the continent for over 50,000 years. Today’s Aboriginals include people whose relatives inhabited Australia when Britain colonized the island in 1788. They also include Torres Strait Islander people. The latter descend from residents of the Torres Strait Islands, a group of islands that is part of Queensland.

The government also established an Aboriginal dental clinic located in the La Perouse Aboriginal Community Health Centre. Aboriginal people do not need to visit this specific clinic to use their free dental health benefits.

Additional dental resources available for Aboriginal People include:

  • The National Oral Health Promotion Clearinghouse
  • Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Resources for Dental Professionals 

Resources for Australian dental professionals include:

The Australian Dental Association

The Australian Dental Association (ADA) is the primary national organization for dental health professionals. Membership is voluntary. There are branches in every state and territory.

The ADA’s three objectives are:

  1. Support members by enhancing their ability to provide safe, high-quality professional dental health care
  2. Improve public oral and general health care
  3. Promote the ethics, art, and science of dentistry

The organization also offers information for dental health professionals to share with their staff, as well as people who are concerned about poor oral health.

Last updated on April 7, 2022
8 Sources Cited
Last updated on April 7, 2022
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1. Oral Health and Dental Care in Australia, Introduction - Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.” Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 19 Nov. 2018.
  2. Australian Government Department of Health. “Dental Health.” Australian Government Department of Health, 4 July 2018.
  3. Home Page.” Teeth.org.au.
  4. About Us.” Australian Dental Foundation.
  5. The Australian Dental Association.” ADA.
  6. “Dental Care Information for Professionals | Dentalcare Australia.” www.dentalcare-Aus.com.au.
  7. Oral Health and Dental Care in Australia, Introduction - Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.” Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 19 Nov. 2018.
  8. Blakemore, Erin. “Aboriginal Australians, Facts and Information.” Culture, 31 Jan. 2019.
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