The Child Dental Benefits scheme is a public health initiative that provides essential dental services to children aged 2-17 Australia wide.
Unfortunately, despite its widespread use since its inception in January 2014, the future of the scheme is being threatened at a national level.
This is a move that would see many kids miss out on key dental treatments, and to combat this, the Australian Dental Association (ADA) is drawing awareness to the proposed dismantling of the service by the federal government.
We discussed the CDBS with Dr Alana Evans, and here are three great reasons why we believe the CDBS is beneficial – not just for our young patients, but the dental health of many Australian children.
The CDBS Provides Benefits to 3 Million Disadvantaged Children
That is a lot of smiling kids!
“Many families may find it difficult to access or afford the dentist, and traditionally this is not something that is covered by Medicare,” says Dr Alana Evans.
“The CDBS gives children in these circumstances an opportunity to have their teeth checked, and any basic dental treatment provided without the out of pocket expense.”
Specific Funding for Preventive & Essential Treatments
The saying goes that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and this rings particularly true in dentistry.
“The CDBS is designed specifically to provide preventive treatments, education and essential dental services, such as check-ups, X-rays, fillings and extractions. These are all cornerstones to dental health and on-going well being.”
“By giving all of our children access to these regular check-ups and treatments, it means that we are able to clean the teeth, prevent decay and catch many dental problems early. These preventive strategies set up an entire generation for a lifetime of good oral health!”
Lowering Waiting Lists & Costs of Emergency Dental
“Early education is pivotal when it comes to maintaining a healthy smile throughout life, and the CDBS provides the opportunity to teach children how to look after their teeth.”
One of the main flow-on benefits of the CDBS is that preventive treatment and on-going dental care reduces visits to the emergency room or public dental clinics.
“Hopefully, these preventive strategies lead to better dental health in later life, and lessens the need for emergency dental treatment.”
The CDBS can be claimed at public or private dental practices. This allows many children to be seen by a local dentist instead of having to lengthen the waiting list at a public dental clinic or hospital.
“These public dental clinics often have long waiting lists. By providing these services to children locally and efficiently – we effectively shorten the waiting list for important emergency procedures, and for people in immediate pain, at our public clinics and hospitals.”
Sign the ADA Petition
We support the ADA’s stance on keeping the CDBS alive, and hope this important system can be saved from the chopping block. We encourage anyone that feels the same to look at the official petition here, or to follow #SavetheCDBS.