In NSW, public dental services are provided to children and eligible adults.
For adults, the eligibility criteria means they must have one or more of the following cards:
- Commonwealth Seniors Health Card,
- Health Card, or
- Pensioner Concession Card.
It should be noted that there is an eligibility criteria for children for require treatment under general anaesthetics. Please refer to Policy Directive PD 2011_071 Oral Health Specialist Referral Protocols.
NSW Health does not charge eligible Clients a co-payment for general dental services. Charges may apply for some specialist services.
The Commonwealth Government plays a role in the funding of dental services, however, the NSW Government is responsible for delivering the public dental program for children and eligible adults.
The range of oral health services provided through the NSW public health system broadly includes dental services to children and eligible adults according to criteria that prioritise emergency situations: those in most need and at highest risk of disease; dental education and oral health promotion services.
In NSW, oral health care services are delivered by each of the Local Health Districts (LHDs). These services are delivered in dental clinics based in community health centres, hospitals and schools and include general dentistry such as examinations, fillings and dentures.
In regional LHDs, clinics may be located in hospitals, schools, community health facilities, or in mobile dental clinics. In some communities a private surgery may be rented to provide public sector oral health services.
Contracted services are also provided via the Oral Health Fee for Service Scheme (OHFFSS), which enables public oral health services to be provided by a private practitioner using a voucher system.
Eighteen Aboriginal Medical Services also provide dental services which are funded by NSW Health.
The Westmead Centre for Oral Health, the Children’s Hospital at Westmead and the Sydney Dental Hospital provide general and specialist oral health services in their clinics and through outreach programs in rural public dental clinics. The specialist services include paediatric dentistry, oral surgery, endodontics, prosthodontics, special needs dentistry, oral medicine and oral pathology, orthodontics, and periodontics.