Child Dental Benefits Schedule for health professionals

Eligible children aged 2 to 17 can receive basic dental services through the Child Dental Benefits Schedule.

The Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) provides eligible children with benefits for basic dental services, capped at $1,000 over 2 consecutive calendar years. To be eligible for the CDBS, a child must:

  • be aged 2 to 17 years for at least 1 day of the calendar year
  • be eligible for Medicare
  • receive, or be part of a family receiving, certain Australian Government payments

Services that receive a benefit under the CDBS include examinations, X-rays, cleaning, fissure sealing, fillings, root canals, extractions and partial dentures. Many of these services have claiming restrictions.

Benefits are not available for orthodontic or cosmetic dental work, and cannot be paid for any services provided in a hospital.

Dental provider eligibility

Dental providers that hold general or specialist registration with the Dental Board of Australia can provide services under the CDBS. The services may only be billed by a dentist or dental specialist, either a private provider or a representative public dentist with a current Medicare provider number.

Services or part of a service may also be provided on behalf of a dentist or dental specialist by another dental practitioner, including:

  • dental hygienists
  • dental therapists
  • oral health therapists
  • dental prosthetists

Patient eligibility for the Child Dental Benefits Schedule

A child's eligibility for the CDBS is assessed at the beginning of each calendar year and is valid for the whole of that calendar year. Children deemed not eligible at the beginning of the year and who become eligible at a later date will be made eligible from 1 January of that calendar year.

Refer to Eligibility for the CDBS for further information.

Providing services under the Child Dental Benefits Schedule

It is voluntary for a dental provider to participate in the CDBS.

Before starting a consultation, it is a mandatory requirement to check your patient’s CDBS eligibility and balance. You can do this through Health Professional Online Services (HPOS) or by calling us.

Before providing services, you must discuss and obtain consent from the patient, or their parent or guardian, for the basic dental services needed and the costs associated with the services. Consent to all services and costs must be documented in writing before the end of the visit.

For privately billed services, the patient or their parent or guardian will need to document their consent on each day you provide a service, by signing Informed Financial Consent - Non-Bulk Billing Patient Consent Form [pdf, 289Kb] at each visit.

For bulk-billed services, the Informed Financial Consent - Bulk Billing Patient Consent Form [pdf, 246Kb] is only required on the 1st visit in each calendar year. If the patient is seeing multiple dentists within a practice, 1 form is required to be completed per provider, not 1 form per practice.

Claiming services under the Child Dental Benefits Schedule

Submit your claim through your usual Medicare claiming process. Find out more about electronic claiming and how to register for online business.

A service must be fully completed before you bill the patient or submit a bulk billing claim.

Applying for a provider number

If you do not have an existing provider number, you will need to complete an Application for an initial Medicare provider/registration number for a Dentist, Dental Specialist or Dental Prosthetist form (HW017).

If you have an existing provider number and will be working at a new location, you will need to complete an Application for an additional location Medicare provider number for a medical practitioner form (HW062).

When your application is successfully processed, we will mail you a letter confirming access to Medicare including the CDBS and advising the provider number for the location requested.

Resources for dental providers

We have a number of resources to support dental providers under the CDBS.

  • overview of the CDBS
  • additional brochures for your practice - print extra copies of the CDBS brochure for your patients using our easy print your own brochure tool straight from our website
  • self print poster for display in your practice - promote the CDBS in your practice today
  • complete our eLearning program for an overview of the claiming and servicing requirements under the CDBS. It focuses on the conditions and obligations of the CDBS, including eligibility, informed consent and claiming requirements
  • a Guide to the Child Dental Benefits Schedule produced by the Department of Health explains CDBS requirements and the list of eligible services, benefits and restrictions for each service

More information

For more information on the CDBS, go to the Department of Health website.

Information on the Dental Benefits Rules 2013 is available on the ComLaw website.

Contact us to check CDBS patient eligibility and balance.

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