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

The Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate Scheme was created by the Australian Government to help patients born with a cleft lip and/or palate to 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. 
Patients who had past work under the scheme may be able to get approval for repair work. 

Booking an appointment 

Dentists and dental specialists need to register to provide treatment under the Cleft Lip and Palate Scheme. Therefore when making an appointment, it is important to check that they are registered to provide treatment under the Scheme. If they are not registered, the treatment will not be paid for by Medicare.

This Scheme can be used at both public and private dental clinics.


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.