Dental Services Available

In Victoria, people can go to a public or private dental clinic. Here are some of the main differences:

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Public Private
What does it mean? The government provides free or low-cost dental care for some Victorians. A private oral health professional works in his or her own clinic.
Where are they? There are public dental clinics at the Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne and at community clinics across Victoria. Private dental clinics can be found across Victoria.
What services are available? General dental care at all public dental clinics– includes things like check-ups, cleaning, fillings, tooth removal, etc. Specialist dental care at the Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne only (includes a Special Needs Clinic) with a referral. There are many private general care dentists and specialist dentists in Victoria. There are a few private Special Needs Dentists in Victoria.
Who can use the service? Most adults (18 years+), will need to have a health care card or pensioner concession card* to use public dental services. Anyone can see a private dentist in a private dental clinic.
How much will it cost? Registered clients of a disability service (with a healthcare or pension concession card) should not have to pay for general dental care. The clinic might ask for a letter to from the disability service to confirm that the person is a registered client. There may be fees for specialist services. Each clinic decides what they will charge. There is no Medicare rebate for dental care. Private health insurance may cover some costs. You can ask the clinic to give more information about their fees.
Will there be a wait? People registered with disability services will be offered the next available appointment for general dental care. Can vary for people who have a disability. May be longer waits in rural and remote locations.
How do you find a clinic?  Find a public dental clinic through the Dental Health Services Victoria website –www.dhsv.org.au. Search online for private ‘dentists’ and ‘special needs dentists’ near you. For example, via Yellow Pages or the Australian Dental Association website.

*Note: There are different rules for children and some other exceptions. See www.dhsv.org.au for full details.