Free public dental care

All children under 18 years of age can access free dental care provided by NSW Health at public dental clinics.

In addition, the Primary School Mobile Dental Program was launched in July 2019 in five local health districts. Children attending participating primary schools in these areas have access to free dental care through the program. The program is being delivered by experienced NSW Health staff, using a combination of fully equipped dental vans and portable dental equipment set up on school grounds. 

Where is the program available?

The program is currently being run in the following local health districts:

  • Central Coast
  • Far West
  • Hunter New England
  • Illawarra Shoalhaven
  • Mid North Coast
  • Murrumbidgee
  • Nepean Blue Mountains
  • South West Sydney
  • Western NSW
  • Northern NSW
  • Western Sydney

Parents/carers of children attending a participating school will receive a Parent Information and Consent Pack about the program before it is due to visit the school.

What to expect when your child visits a NSW Health mobile dental clinic

At their first appointment, children may receive the following care (if clinically indicated and if parents/carers have consented):
  • a comprehensive examination
  • dental x-rays
  • dental clean
  • fluoride varnish application
  • fissure sealants
More information about what these involve can be found on the Oral health care explained page.
A review appointment may also be scheduled within 12 months for a check-up and a second application of fluoride.

If a child needs follow-up dental care (e.g. fillings), public dental service staff will contact parents/carers to discuss options for treatment. This may include providing further treatment at a school-based mobile dental clinic or in a local dental clinic. Parent/carer consent is required for any further treatment.
For more information about the clinics and program, refer to the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Dental services for children at other schools

All children under 18 years of age can access free dental care provided by NSW Health at public dental clinics. Some children may also be eligible for the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS). All children seen by public dental services receive the same high-quality care regardless of their eligibility for the CDBS and no fees are charged, even if CDBS benefits have been fully used up. To book an appointment or for more information, contact your local public dental service.
Alternatively, if your child has a regular public or private dental practitioner, you may wish to continue your child’s care with that provider. Please note that when visiting a non-NSW Health service, the costs of your child’s care may be covered by private health insurance, the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (if your child is eligible), payments made by you, or a combination of these.
Current as at: Tuesday 2 April 2024