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We all know that dental procedures in Australia can be so expensive. Moreover, the cost of getting your smile fixed seems to be different depending on where you are! What makes matters worse is that insurance companies or even Medicare do not cover most of the dental procedures you need! Here let us find out how the government runs the national dental care system, what their dental initiatives are, how it works, and how it can help us in maintaining our dental health.

Australia’s national dental care system: Its dental initiatives

According to the Australian Government’s Department of Health, the dental initiatives that the department offers its citizens are the following:

•    Child Dental Benefits Schedule

The CDBS offers financial support for children and teens 2-17 year of age with different aids and benefits for a range of dental services including consultations, radiographs, scaling and cleaning, fissure sealing, minor fillings, root canal therapy, and simple tooth extractions. However, the government does not shoulder orthodontic or cosmetic dental services, and they also are not paying for any dental services provided in a hospital.

•    Public Dental Services

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The Australian government also provides different dental services offered per state or territory. The Department of Health website listed down different State Health Department websites that residents can visit to know the various dental services their state offers, what requirements they must meet to become eligible, and where to get them.

•    National Partnership Agreement on Public Dental Services for Adults

Because Medicare initially stopped coverage for dental services, the Australian government reinstated a $242.5 million budget for adult dental services from January 2017 until June 2019. Now, over 400,000
Australian adults can get the chance to have their dental procedures either for free or at a lower cost.

•    National Oral Health Plan

This national dental care system delivers calculated ways to reinforce the national oral and dental care system in order to reduce the incidences of oral diseases. In fact, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare gave the statistics that in 2010, 48% of teens aged 12 years old suffer from tooth decay, and 55% of kids aged 6 years old have decayed baby or temporary teeth. This dental initiative aims to lessen these incidences by providing better planned and subsidised preventative dental services.

Australia’s national dental care system: Dental insurance and other payment plans

Only a few insurance companies offer standalone dental insurance policies to Australians, and if they do, it is expensive and very limiting. Unlike medical health insurances that cover most of the medical procedures a patient needs, only specific preventative dental procedures typically get covered by insurance companies. The reason? Because unlike medical procedure costs that are regulated by the Department of Health, dental procedure costs vary from one dentist to another. Controlling the cost of a specific dental treatment is almost impossible, so the annual limit or benefit cap of dental insurance coverage may be maximised easily.

It is more common for patients to get hold of dental payment plans offered by their dentists to help them afford their dental procedures. Payment schedules are internally arranged between the patient and the dentist so they can conveniently pay for the dentist’s services while enjoying the benefits of an improved smile.

Your dental health should be considered as part of your overall general health, so caring for it is essential. Now that national dental care system offered by the government makes it easier for you to care for your oral cavity, it is but wise to take advantage of these dental initiatives so you can ensure that your beautiful smile gets maintained for years to come.

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