the Australian Dental Association
Written by the Australian Dental Association, Jun 16, 2022
Fact Checked

If you have a child with a cleft lip and/or cleft palate, they may be eligible for the Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate Scheme. This scheme has been created by the Australian Government to help families access surgical and dental services.

Who can access the Cleft Lip and Palate Scheme?

For a person to be eligible for the Cleft Lip and Palate Scheme, they must:

  • Be diagnosed with a cleft lip, cleft palate or other eligible condition by a doctor or dentist.
  • Have a Medicare card. 
  • Start treatment before you turn 22 years old.
  • Have the treatment before the age of 28.
Patients that are 28 years or older and had past work under the scheme may be able to get approval for repair work. 

Booking an appointment 

When making an appointment, it is important to check that the dentist or dental specialist provide treatment under the Cleft Lip and Palate Scheme. If they do not, the treatment will not be paid for by Medicare.


Treatment can be provided by:

Dental treatments can include:

  • replacing missing teeth
  • tooth extractions
  • some orthodontic work (straightening teeth)
  • surgery on the mouth, jaws or face

It is important to keep seeing a dentist for regular check-ups even while having treatment to repair a cleft lip and/or palate.

More information

If you would like further information, contact Medicare on 13 20 11 or 1300 652 492 or visit the Department of Human Services website.