The Child Dental Benefits Schedule

The Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) is a dental benefits program for eligible children aged 0-17. It provides up to $1026 in benefits to the child over a 2 year calendar period that can be used to pay for check-ups, fillings and other basic dental services.

Page last updated: 06 January 2022

About the CDBS

The CDBS provides eligible children access to a benefit cap of up to $1026 over a 2 calendar year period. This cap is used to claim individual benefits for a range of basic dental services like check-ups, x-rays, cleans, fillings, root canals and extractions. It doesn’t cover specialist services like orthodontics, cosmetic dental work, or dental services in a hospital.

Payments under the CDBS are delivered by Services Australia.

Visiting the dentist and claiming

You can use the CDBS at public or most private dentists.

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.

All public dentists and some private dentists bulk bill under the CDBS which means they will claim the benefit directly from Services Australia and you don’t have to pay anything out-of-pocket, while within the benefit cap of up to $1026 over 2 calendar years. When your dentist bulk bills they need you to sign a form so they can claim from Services Australia.

If you use the CDBS at a dentist that bulk bills, you won’t have to pay anything out-of-pocket. You can find a dentist that bulk bills on Health Direct by searching ‘dentists’ and ‘bulk billing available’.

Private dentists who do not bulk bill may charge a gap fee for services. Ask your dentist when you book your appointment.

You can allow your dentist to claim the benefit directly from Services Australia by making a claim.

Who is eligible for the CDBS?

You don’t need to apply or register for CDBS. Services Australia will let you know if your child is eligible through mail or MyGov. Your child may be eligible for the CDBS if:

If you want to check to see if your child can access the CDBS, how much you can claim or your CDBS balance, you can check your Medicare online account through MyGov or call Medicare on 132 011.

What other dental services are available?

There may be other public dental programs that are delivered by your state or territory government. This may include other programs for children who aren’t able to use the CDBS. To check, visit their website:
Australian Capital Territory – ACT Health
New South Wales – NSW Health
Northern Territory – Department of Health
Queensland – Queensland Health
South Australia – SA Dental
Tasmania – Oral Health Tasmania
Victoria – Department of Health
Western Australia – Dental Health Services

Information for providers

Find out more about how you can become a provider for the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS), your requirements and obligations as a provider, how much the it pays, and consent forms you need for to have completed when billing under the CDBS.

What is the CDBS?

The CDBS provides eligible children up to $1026 worth of dental services over 2 calendar years. We deliver the program with Services Australia. They are responsible for eligibility and claiming under the CDBS.

The legislative framework for the program is the Dental Benefits Act 2008 and Dental Benefit Rules 2014. We have developed resources to help you understand what this means.

Becoming a CDBS provider

To provide services, you must be recognised to provide dental services under Medicare.

Guide to the Child Dental Benefits Schedule

The Guide to the Child Dental Benefit Schedule was updated to version 9 on 15 December 2021. This version incorporates recent changes that came into effect from 1 January 2022 including

  • Expanded age eligibility to access the CDBS to 0-17 years
  • Changed benefit amounts due to indexation which have been included in Schedule 1 – Dental Benefits Schedule, and Schedule 3 – Benefit limits.

CDBS Dental Benefits Schedule items and rates 2022

The benefit amounts paid under the CDBS have been updated for 2022. These items and rates came into effect from 1 January 2022.

Consent forms

You must discuss the treatment and costs for basic dental services with your patient before providing the service. If the patient, or their parent or guardian, agrees to the services and cost, they must sign the consent form.

How you bill your patient determines the consent form they must complete.

Informed financial consent – bulk billing form

If you bulk bill, you need to have the informed financial consent form completed at the first visit each year.

Informed financial consent – bulk billing patient consent form (PDF 246 KB)
Informed financial consent – bulk billing patient consent form (Word 479 KB)

Informed financial consent – non-bulk billing form

If you do not bulk bill, you need to have the informed financial consent form completed each time the patient visits.

Informed financial consent – non-bulk billing patient consent form (PDF 289 KB)
Informed financial consent – non-bulk billing patient consent form (Word 479 KB)

Translated financial consent forms

We have translated the informed financial consent forms into a number of languages.

Ministerial Guidelines on Extenuating Circumstances for Informed Financial Consent

There may be extenuating circumstances where it is not possible for you to obtain this informed financial consent. There are Ministerial Guidelines that set out these circumstances, and what this means for the informed financial consent requirements.

Ministerial Guidelines on extenuating circumstances for informed financial consent (PDF 1169 KB)
Ministerial Guidelines on extenuating circumstances for informed financial consent (Word 502 KB)

Compliance activities for dental providers

We are responsible for making sure that claims paid under the CDBS comply with the legislative requirements of the program. We provide a range of education resources to help you meet your legal obligations and reduce the risk of incorrect billing.

Resources

Give your kids a reason to smile!