The Australian Dental Association has been advocating for restoration of the cap on dental treatment and care that is available to eligible children. In December last year, with support of Labor and the Greens, the Government announced that the CDBS would be retained, but that it would be reduced from $1000 to $700 over 2 years.
Urgent discussions with the Federal Health minister, along with support from key Senators who were opposed to the cuts to the Child Dental Benefits Schedule cap, have resulted in the Australian Government advising that the original figure of $1000 will be reinstated.
The reduction to $700 would have resulted in 25% of children who have accessed the program, not being in a position have had their treatment needs met. Dental disease in children is on the rise, which 40% of children aged 5 to 10 having decay in their baby teeth, and 30% of children aged 9-14 having decay in their permanent teeth. A reduction in the ability to provide oral health care and preventive strategies for these children and their families is bad news.
Today's decision by the Health minister ensures that the CDBS remains a critically important investment in the dental health of disadvantaged Australian children to help these children access the care and assistance that they need for a healthy life, with their private dentist of choice. As a community service, our dental professionals will bulk bill for eligible children for their dental care.