Like many things in life, when it comes to dental health, prevention is always better than the cure.

That’s why it’s so important for your children to establish strong oral health habits in childhood, to help ensure their teeth are in tip top condition throughout their life.

However, for many families, accessing quality dental care can be seen as costly and unfortunately this means that sometimes basic dental treatment can fall down the priority list.

That’s where programs such as the government’s Child Dental Benefits Schedule (or CDBS) can assist.

What is the CDBS?

The CDBS is a means tested scheme introduced by the government in 2014, and at the time of publishing is still available.

The aim of the benefit is to improve dental health outcomes for children (and therefore adults) by providing funds to cover essential dental services to eligible children aged between two and seventeen years old.

The benefit covers the costs of essential preventative and restorative dental treatments up to a value of $1000 over a two-year consecutive period. If you do not use all of the funds in the first year, you can use the remainder in the second year provided you are still eligible.

In April 2016 the Australian Government announced its intention to close the CDBS. As the relevant legislation to close the CDBS was not passed by parliament before going into caretaker arrangements on 9 May 2016, the CDBS currently remains open.

Who is eligible for the CDBS?

The CDBS is available for children who are eligible for Medicare and are aged between 2 and 17 years for at least one day in that calendar year.

In addition, the child, their family, guardian or carer must receive certain government benefits such as Family Tax Benefit Part A for at least part of the calendar year.

For more information about eligibility and a full list of which payments are included in the scheme, please see the Department of Human Services site here.

How can the CDBS help my family?

The CDBS covers treatments that help prevent dental diseases, or where possible, will restore teeth that have been damaged due to infection or trauma.

Some of the specific treatments may include:

  • Examinations
  • X-rays
  • Fissure sealing
  • Cleaning
  • Root canal treatments
  • Extractions

The CDBS does not cover orthodontic or cosmetic dental work, or any services that need to be provided in a hospital operating theatre or oral surgery environment.

When you first come to see us about the CDBS, our professional dental team will develop a treatment plan to help address the needs of your child, which will assist in determining if your child requires any treatment that may be covered under the CDBS, if you are eligible.

How can we use the CDBS?

If your children are eligible for the CDBS, then you would have been sent a letter informing you from the government. However, we understand that sometimes these things get lost or slip through the cracks, so don’t worry if you can’t find it and you’re not sure.

You can check your child’s eligibility by simply contacting Medicare on 132 011, or by accessing your myGov online account. You can also access further information about the CDBS at the Department of Human Services website here.

Once you’ve confirmed your child is eligible, you can just book an appointment with your friendly Bupa Dental team in the usual way, and bring along your Medicare card. We’ll then process the bulk-billing payment, deducting it from your CDBS balance.

So if you’ve been considering booking your children in for a check up, now is the time to check if the CDBS could make things a bit easier for your family, and book in today.