the Australian Dental Association
Written by the Australian Dental Association, Oct 31, 2023
Fact Checked

The Child Dental Benefits Schedule is often called CDBS for short. It was introduced by the Federal Government to help children access dental care. The CDBS allows eligible children to access general dental treatment at both public and private dental clinics. At most dental clinics, this treatment will be bulk-billed. 

Who is eligible?

Children eligible for the CDBS must be under 18 years of age. The CDBS is administered by Medicare. You do not need to apply or register for the CDBS. If your child is eligible, you will automatically receive a letter to let you know. You can also see if you are eligible in your MyGov account.  

Children are considered eligible if:

  • they are under 18 years of age,
  • they are eligible for Medicare, and
  • the parent or child receives a payment from the Government that makes them eligible. Payments include Family Tax Benefit Part A, Parenting payment or Double Orphan Pension payments.

It is important to confirm that your child is eligible for the CDBS before booking their dental appointment. If your child is eligible and you are booking an appointment, be sure to check that your dental practice provides treatment under the CDBS. Letting the dental practice know that you plan to use the CDBS for your child’s treatment helps them to be prepared for your visit.

What is the benefit?

As of 2022, eligible children have access to $1,026 worth of dental treatment over a 2-year period. From 1 January 2023, this amount will increase to $1,052 but only if a child first uses the CDBS benefits in 2023. If a child first uses the benefits in 2022, the amount they can access will still be $1,026. 

This money can be used to cover a range of dental services including examinations, x-rays, cleaning the teeth, fillings, tooth removal, and root canal treatments. The CDBS does not cover orthodontic treatment, or the cost of general anaesthetic care.

If your children are eligible, your dentist will let you know what treatments can be paid for by the CDBS.

To know how much of the CDBS benefits your child or children still have access to, contact Medicare or check your MyGov account. The team at your dental clinic may also be able to help you in finding out this information. 

Who can provide treatment?

Treatment under the CDBS can be provided by dentists in private dental practices and the Government dental system.

Many dental practices will bulk-bill the treatment. This means that you will not have to pay any money out of your own pocket. 

Find out more

To discover more about this program, and whether your child is eligible, call Medicare on 132 011 or visit the Department of Human Services website.

CDBS brochure
CDBS brochure
Information about the CDBS from Services Australia