The SA Dental Service’s Aboriginal Oral Health Program works to improve the oral health outcomes of Aboriginal people in South Australia, by increasing access to mainstream dental services.
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
The Aboriginal Oral Health Program relies on partnerships with agencies to drive the awareness and referrals of the Aboriginal Liaison Program to help 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 Dental Service Community 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 or Torres Strait Islander 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 directly attend one of our clinics and ask for an appointment under the Aboriginal Liaison Program.
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 are at no cost.
Child Dental Benefit Schedule
From 1 January 2014, the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS), a Commonwealth funded dental benefit program for children aged 2 – 17 years will commence. The School Dental Service will bulk-bill Medicare for dental services provided to eligible children.
Most children aged between 2-17 years will be eligible to claim up to $1000 for dental services over 2 years. However, eligibility for care for preschoolers will not be affected and they will still be eligible for free dental care (birth – 5 years) at School Dental Service Clinics. Parents will need to bring their Medicare Card to all appointments.
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 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.
For more information about the program please telephone (08) 8222 9111 or email us at email@example.com