All Queensland resident children four years of age or older who have not completed Year 10 of secondary school are eligible for publicly funded oral health care via Queensland Health's Child and Adolescent Oral Health Services (previously referred to as the School Dental Service / Program).
Children younger than four years of age and those who have completed Year 10 of secondary school are also eligible for publicly funded oral health care if they are dependents of current concession card holders or hold a current concession card themselves.
A Medicare benefit of $1000.00 per patient over two consecutive years is available for oral health care for children aged 2-17 years who are Medicare eligible and who receive, or are part of a family who receives, a relevant Australian Government payment, such as Family Tax Benefit A, at any point in the calendar year. The Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) benefit can be used to access oral health care in either the private or public sector.
Eligibility for publicly funded oral health care in Queensland has been extended to match CDBS eligibility criteria. This means that 2-4 year olds and 16-17 year olds are also eligible to receive services in Queensland Health clinics if they are CDBS eligible.
If a CDBS eligible patient wishes to access oral health care at a Queensland Health dental clinic, their CDBS benefits must be assigned to Queensland Health. The completion of a Bulk Billing Consent Form is required prior to the commencement of care.
Further information about the Child Dental Benefits Schedule can be found via the Australian Government Department of Human Services site.
General courses of oral health care are usually provided on-site at schools through fixed or mobile dental clinics. Some Hospital and Health Services have reviewed and revised their service model and now provide oral health care to children and adolescents at larger dental clinics located within their Hospital and Health Service rather than on-site within schools. Oral health care is provided by teams of oral health staff including dentists, oral health therapists, dental therapists and dental assistants.
Limited specialist services are available in some Hospital and Health Services. Specialist Services are means-tested (eg. only for concession card holders) and eligible patients are prioritised based on severity criteria.
All enquiries regarding emergency and urgent care should be directed to the nearest dental clinic (check the White Pages under Queensland Health for telephone details). Some Hospital and Health Services operate a centralised emergency/urgent care contact number. Emergencies are generally assessed over the telephone by trained staff and appointments are prioritised based on severity.
Most schools are treated on a rotational basis. An offer of dental treatment is issued by way of a Medical History/Consent Form. Forms are issued to all enrolled eligible students at the commencement of services within each school. It is the responsibility of parents/guardians to ensure completed Forms are returned promptly. Only children whose parents/guardians return completed Consent Forms receive care.
The frequency of recalls at individual schools can vary on a District by District basis and is directly related to such variables as consent rates and the burden of oral disease. Australia's National Oral health Plan 2004 - 2013 recommends children and adolescents receive at least one course of general oral health care every two years. Many Hospital and Health Services are able to exceed this recommendation and offer a general course of care more frequently.
Publicly funded oral health services are provided at no charge to eligible patients.
If a Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) eligible patient wishes to access oral health care at a Queensland Health dental clinic, their CDBS benefits must be assigned to Queensland Health. The completion of a Bulk Billing Consent Form is required prior to the commencement of care.
Parents / legal guardians may be required to transport children to and from dental appointments at a nearby clinic if treatment is not able to be performed on-site at the school. Clinic staff will be able to advise if public transport is available. Transport costs are not met by Queensland Health.
To find your nearest public dental clinic details can be obtained by referring to the local services list.