Australian Dental Health Plan

Not everyone in Australia has equal access to timely and appropriate dental care. To address this inequity, the ADA launched the Australian Dental Health Plan in 2016. In 2019, the ADA published a revised, updated version of the plan, entitled Australian Dental Health Plan 2019. The plan provides a comprehensive framework for Australian government funding of dental services for groups with significant unmet dental needs – most particularly low-income adults and seniors, who often cannot afford private dental services, but also experience long waiting lists in the public dental system. 

It argues for Australian government funding of an Adult Dental Benefits Schedule, and a Seniors Dental Benefits Schedule targeted to these groups, to replicate the success of the Child Dental Benefits Schedule. 

In conjunction with these initiatives, the plan also argues that the Australian government should: 

  • Fund a major national oral health campaign 
  • Take action to ensure that water fluoridation is introduced to all Australian communities with reticulated water supplies 
  • Introduce a health levy on sugary drinks to increase the price by 20% 
  • Require that added sugars are clearly listed on food labels on the front of all packaged food and drink products 
  • Increase taxation on tobacco products, and 
  • Continue to raise awareness of the dangers of vaping/e-cigarettes and water pipes.