In South Australia, the oral health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is significantly worse than the total population. Attendance at mainstream dental clinics has historically been low, despite evidence of need for dental care.
SA Dental Service is committed to improving the oral health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in South Australia and have implemented an Aboriginal Oral Health Program Team to work to raise the profile and acceptability of dental care within the South Australian Aboriginal community.
The Aboriginal Oral Health Program has a number of key strategies to increase access of Aboriginal people to mainstream dental services across SA, including:
· Ensuring Aboriginal Adults are referred to SA Dental Service for priority dental care
· Increasing the number of Aboriginal Teenagers accessing dental care using the Medicare Teen Dental Voucher
· Ensuring Aboriginal children are accessing dental care through a variety of referral pathways; health and welfare professionals
· Working with health professionals who see pregnant women regularly to increase their oral health knowledge
· Developing a range of oral health resources for Aboriginal people
The Aboriginal Oral Health Program Team is interested in expanding on the partnerships already developed through the Aboriginal Liaison Program to help all Aboriginal people access dental care in South Australia. If you are interested in being involved in the programs, or would like to help Aboriginal people access dental care please contact any of the project officers.
Dental care for Adults - Aboriginal Liaison Program
The Aboriginal Liaison Program (ALP) is for eligible Aboriginal adults in South Australia. The program began in 2005 in response to an identified need to improve oral health outcomes for Aboriginal adults. The program is available through all SA Community Service Dental Clinics.
The program provides general and emergency dental care at no cost for eligible adults at Community Dental Service Clinics in both metropolitan and country areas in SA. There are no waiting lists for clients who access dental care through the Aboriginal Liaison Program.
To be eligible to access the program clients need to meet all of the following criteria:
· be of Aboriginal Origin
· the holder of a current Centrelink Concession Card
· aged 18 and over
To obtain a referral into the program please see an Aboriginal Health/Case or Community worker or pop into one of our clinics and ask to see an Aboriginal Client Liaison Officer to have an Oral Health Assessment completed.
Most dental care is free through the Aboriginal Liaison Program.
Any payments required will be discussed at time of treatment.
There may be fees for some specialist services.
Dentures and denture repairs are at no cost.
Dental Care for Teenagers - Medicare Teen Dental Program
The Teen Dental Plan is administered by Medicare Australia using a voucher system. Each year, around 1.3 million teenagers aged 12-17 years, who meet the program’s means test, are sent a voucher for a preventative dental check. Vouchers are valid between 1 January and 31 December each year, with most people receiving their voucher in January or February. Vouchers can only be used during the calendar year in which they are issued.
A teenager may be eligible to receive dental care (a nominated amount) per eligible teenager, per calendar year. To be eligible, a teenager must be aged between 12-17 years and receive Youth Allowance or Abstudy, or their families/carers receive Tax Benefit Part A. Medicare will automatically send eligible teenagers or their families a voucher. Teenagers can bring this voucher to any SA Dental Service School Dental Clinic. The voucher entitles the teenager to a full course of dental care including preventive care and any treatment required. The 2012 nominated amount is $163.05.
This program will be abolished on December 31st 2013.
Pregnancy, Families and Early Years
In South Australia Aboriginal children experience approximately 70% more tooth decay than non-Aboriginal children and they have more teeth with untreated decay. The early years focuses on the principles of the Population Oral Health Project- Lift the Lip, targeting Aboriginal children, working collaboratively with health professionals to improve the early identification and referral of Aboriginal children experiencing decay for dental appointments at a School Dental Service Clinic.
The health of a mother affects the development of a baby during pregnancy. Pregnant women may be more susceptible to dental problems such as gum disease, erosion and tooth decay.
Babies are not born with tooth decay. Decay causing bacteria is passed onto children, most often through their carers.
Offering pregnant women and new parents tailored support can build healthy resilient children.
Pregnancy referral pathway eligibility:
• be of Aboriginal origin
• or be pregnant with a child of Aboriginal decent
• all ages can access the program
• if 16 years and older must hold a current Centrelink concession card
*18 years and over dental care will be carried out at CDS
*under the age of 18, dental care will be carried out at SDS
Non-Aboriginal women pregnant with an Aboriginal child will be eligible for one course of care per pregnancy under the ALP Pregnancy referral pathway.
Medicare Chronic Disease Dental Scheme
The Medicare Chronic Disease Dental Scheme has now been abolished. This was a federally funded program for people with a practitioner diagnosed chronic disease.
Jenny Smith Lisa Pigliafiori Kellie Graves
Jennifer.firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Ph: 82229024 Ph: 82229111 Ph: 82229003