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Dental benefits for kids (CDBS)

4-minute read

Key facts

  • Visiting the dentist regularly is an important part of good dental care.
  • The Australian Government’s Child Dental Benefit Schedule (CDBS) covers the cost of basic dental services for eligible children aged 0 to 17 years.
  • The CDBS provides eligible children access to a capped benefit for a range of basic dental services.
  • You can use CDBS payments to help pay for your child’s dental treatment at a public or private dentist.
  • If you see a private dentist, ask about out-of-pocket costs.

What is the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS)?

The Child Dental Benefits Schedule, often known as the CDBS, was introduced by the Australian Government to help families access preventative dental care and general dental treatment for children aged 0 to 17 years.

The CDBS provides eligible children with a capped benefit over a 2 calendar-year period.

This cap is used to claim individual benefits for a range of basic dental services, at both public and private dental clinics. Many dental clinics will bulk bill this treatment.

When you book an appointment, let your dentist know that you want to use the CDBS, and ask how much funding you have available under your CDBS cap.

Services Australia manages the payments of CDBS benefits.

Who is eligible for the CDBS?

You don’t need to apply or register for CDBS. Services Australia will notify you if your child is eligible, either electronically or by post. Your child may be eligible for the CDBS if during the relevant calendar year:

  • they are eligible for Medicare on the day they get dental treatment, and
  • they are less than 18 years old for at least 1 day of the calendar year, and
  • they receive or are part of a family that receive an eligible payment from Services Australia at least once

Public and private dentists

All public dental clinics provide dental treatment for children who receive CDBS payments. The service will be bulk billed and there will be no out-of-pocket costs.

You can also use CDBS payments to pay for some or all of your treatment at a private dentist.

You can use all the money at once or spread it out over the 2 calendar years, however once the benefit cap has been reached, no further benefits are payable in that benefit cap period.

You may need to pay some out-of-pocket costs if you choose a private dentist. Make sure you check how much the procedure is likely to cost and if there is likely to be any additional work needed. Ask your dentist to explain all the costs to you before your child starts treatment.

If you have private health insurance, you cannot claim a payment from your health fund and claim for a CDBS payment for the same treatment.

What is covered by the CDBS?

If your child is eligible, the CDBS will cover part or the full cost of some basic dental services for children including:

  • teeth cleaning
  • x-rays
  • fissure sealing
  • fillings
  • root canals
  • extractions
  • partial dentures

Before your appointment, check what each service will cost and if the CDBS covers all or part of the costs.

The CDBS does not cover:

  • orthodontics
  • cosmetic dental work
  • any dental services in a hospital

Where can I find a public dentist?

To find a dentist who bulk bills, use the healthdirect Service Finder to find dentists in your area.

Resources and support

To find more information on the Child Dental Benefits Schedule:

It is important to start looking after your baby’s teeth as soon as they come through. Visiting the dentist regularly is one part of good dental care.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: June 2023

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Need more information?

Child Dental Benefits Schedule

Access the Child Dental Benefits Schedule through your local public dental clinic (NSW). All children receive the same high quality care regardless of CDBS eligibility.

Read more on NSW Health website

Child Dental Benefits Schedule - Australian Dental Association

The Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) was introduced by the Federal Government to help children access dental care. In 2023, eligible children will be able to access between $1,026 and $1,052 worth of dental care at private or public dental clinics. 

Read more on website

Dental services for children | NT.GOV.AU

Public dental services for school children, including the child dental benefits schedule.

Read more on NT Health website

Child Dental Benefits Schedule - Services Australia

Covers part or the full cost of some basic dental services for children if you get certain payments from us.

Read more on Centrelink website

Government Dental Care |

The Australian Government works with state and territory governments to fund public dental services and improve dental health.

Read more on website

Dental care for babies and children

Learn about tooth development in babies and children, brushing teeth, flossing, tooth decay, other dental problems and when to see a dentist.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Dental health | Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care

Having healthy teeth, mouth and gums is important for your general health and wellbeing. It means you can eat, drink and speak without pain or discomfort. Find out what we’re doing to support dental health services in Australia.

Read more on Department of Health and Aged Care website

Baby and toddler oral health - Australian Dental Association

We’ve written this dental care guide for baby teeth, babies and toddlers, so you know what to expect as your child grows and dental health care needs change.

Read more on website

Dental treatment - Better Health Channel

Modern techniques mean that dental and oral health treatment is almost always painless.

Read more on Better Health Channel website

Payments for families

Payments to support families are available from the Australian Government. Find out what’s available if you are the parent or carer of a child.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Call us and speak to a Maternal Child Health Nurse for personal advice and guidance.

Need further advice or guidance from our maternal child health nurses?

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