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Eligibility criteria

  • Children with the following medical or dental condition are eligible for dental treatment:

    Only children with a current Health Care Card (HCC) will be eligible for fully subsidised public dental care by Dental Health Services Victoria (DHSV). 

    • Children under 12 years of age without a HCC will be charged a co-payment fee for each course of dental care.
    • Children 12 years of age and older will be charged a fee for service determined by DHSV for each course of dental care provided in the outpatient clinic or in hospital

    Please note that all new patients must be 16 years or under at the commencement of treatment. 

    Consultation does not automatically entitle children to treatment and all consultations are subject to our normal fees.

    If after consideration a patient is ineligible for care, an explanatory letter will be sent to the referring practitioner with a list of alternative public and private children's services and information on  How to access dental services for victorian children.

    From the age of 16 years, patients will be encouraged to transition into adult dental care and at the age of 18 years, all patients will be discharged from the department (with the exception of some patients under the CLP scheme who will be seen until the relevant treatment has been completed).

    Significant Medical History

    Children with a complex medical condition that prevents them from accessing dental care safely elsewhere in the community. For example, cancer, haematological conditions, heart disease, etc.

    Special Needs

    Children with significant developmental and/or behavioural conditions (such as Autism, intellectual disability, Down Syndrome etc.) and who also have a co-existing complex medical condition who cannot be safely treated elsewhere are eligible for dental treatment at RCH.

    Children who are otherwise medically healthy with developmental or behavioural conditions should be referred to the Royal Dental Hospital Melbourne (more information can be found here

      Congenital or Acquired Malformations of the Orofacial Region

      Children with congenital or acquired malformations of the orofacial region who require multidisciplinary management in a "team" environment.

      Some examples are:

      • Craniofacial malformations
      • Cleft lip and palate
      • Orofacial pathology

      Dental Anomalies

      Dental care are provided for children with development disorders of the teeth.

      Some examples are:

      • Amelogenesis imperfecta
      • Dentinogenesis imperfecta
      • Ectodermal dysplasia


      The Department of Dentistry at RCH provides orthodontic treatment to:

      Those patients whose orthodontic treatment needs are highly specialised and/or require integration with other surgical or medical disciplines eg.  OMFS/plastics.

      Eligibility Criteria

      1. Only children registered on the Medicare Cleft Scheme and who have complex cleft or craniofacial  conditions are treated at RCH. Note: Children who have a cleft of the soft or submucous palate and those with simple clefts of the hard palate whose orthodontic needs are routine will need to access orthodontic treatment in the private sector. Over-age patients (those older than 17 years) who have not started orthodontic treatment or are new referrals are also not eligible.
      2. Special consideration. There is allowance for special consideration for orthodontic care at RCH on a case by case basis. Examples of this category include acquired orofacial injuries/skeletal malformations such as Motor Vehicle Accidents, TMJ disorders, neoplasms. Those children that will require orthognathic surgery in combination with orthodontic treatment and who are sufficiently complex medically that they need to be operated on at RCH.

      These cases will be assessed by the Director who may grant exemption. Note: A fee for service plan will need to be discussed and signed.

      The Medicare Cleft Lip and Palate Scheme

      All children born with a cleft (and other specific conditions) can access the Medicare Cleft Scheme which can help with some of costs of treatment associated with having a cleft of the lip and/or palate. From a dental perspective the scheme effectively only applies to orthodontic treatment and some dento-alveolar surgical procedures. It does NOT cover any routine dental treatment nor any of the costs associated with treatment under general anaesthesia. 

      For a list of registered specialist orthodontists who are willing to provide orthodontic treatment to individuals born with a cleft please go to the Australian Society of Orthodontist website


      The Department of Dentistry provides a  24 hour on call service for children presenting with severe acute problems and dento-facial injuries or with acute infections requiring hospitalisation.

      Exclusion Criteria

      The following individuals are not eligible for treatment at RCH and should be referred to the specialist public dental service at The Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne. Referrals which fall under the categories listed below are unable to be accepted for treatment at RCH Dentistry.

      • Any new referral for an individual over 16 years of age.
      • Children with anxiety and difficult behaviour.
      • Otherwise healthy children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD etc. 
      • Routine Orthodontic treatment is not available through the Department of  Dentistry. Specific criteria exist. 

      For alternative Dental Services please link to Alternative Dental Services