​NSW public oral health services are provided only to a proportion of the community who meet an eligibility criteria. This criteria is outlined in more detail in the NSW Health Policy for Eligibility of Persons for Public Oral Health Care.

Approximately 47% of the NSW population is eligible for public oral health services. The NSW criteria of eligibility for public dental services are more generous than most other States and Territories.

It should be noted that although the broad eligibility criteria may be met, limited resources and available services may result in waiting times to access care.​


The following eligibility requirements are needed in order for adults to be receive non-admitted oral health care in the NSW public sector :

  • Normally reside within the boundary of the Local Health District providing the care, and;
  • Be eligible for Medicare, and;
  • Be 18 years of age or older, and;
  • Hold, or be listed as a dependent on, one of the following valid Australian Government concession cards:
    • Health Care Card
    • Pensioner Concession Card
    • Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.

Note that holders of the State Seniors Card are not eligible for care unless they also hold one of the other concession cards listed above.

Children and young persons

In order for children and young persons to be eligible for non-admitted oral health care services they must:

  • Normally reside within the boundary of the Local Health District providing the care, and;
  • Be eligible for Medicare, and;
  • Be less than 18 years of age.

For more information on the eligibility criteria for the public oral health care services provided by Local Health Districts please refer to the Ministry of Health Policy Directive Oral Health - Eligibility of Persons for Public Oral Health Care in NSW.

Specialist care

Please also note that additional eligibility criteria apply for specialist oral health services, such as orthodontic and general anaesthetic services.

These additional criteria are outlined in the NSW Health PD2011_071 Oral Health Specialist Referral Protocols.

​Information for carers

NSW Health recognises the importance of supporting the social inclusion of carers in NSW who provide support to people another person because of disability, chronic illness, mental illness, dementia or ageing. Carer policy, planning and action across the NSW Government and NSW Health, including the Local Health Districts and Pillar organisations, is guided by the NSW Carers (Recognition) Act 2010​​.

Under the NSW Carers Charter we should listen to carers and recognise their unique knowledge and experience.The Charter provides guidance on issues of significance for carers, including respect and recognition, inclusion indecision making, and access to services they m​ay need.​

Involving a carer as a partner in the dental care we provide will benefit the dental service staff and improve outcomes for their patients.​​​ We encourage you to discuss your needs when making an appointment, and with the staff providing care to you or the person you care for.

For more information on support for carers, including Local Health District carer support services, please see Support for Carers in NSW.​​​​​​

The Centre for Oral Health Strategy and Centre for Education and Research on Ageing have developed two resources to provide information on providing oral health care for older people:

Page Updated: Monday 10 September 2018