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Referral procedure

  • Any health care practitioner or allied health care practitioner can refer patients. Please view Eligibility Criteria prior to making a referral.

    A referral letter that documents the presence of an eligible medical or dental condition is required.

    Patients undergo an initial assessment to determine the level of care they are eligible to receive, as well as periodic reassessment to determine eligibility for continued management.

    Acceptance of an individual as a patient for one level of treatment does not mean the department will accept the patient for all ongoing management.  It is possible that a child may be eligible for certain aspects of care (such as fillings or extractions) but not for other aspects of care (such as orthodontic treatment).

    Orthodontic treatment is only provided for patients who are registered on the Medicare Cleft Lip and Palate Scheme AND whose orthodontic treatment needs are highly specialised and require integrated care with other surgical disciplines (eg. plastics or oro-maxillofacial surgery). Those children with clefts of the soft or submucous palate and/or simple clefts of the hard palate whose orthodontic needs are routine will need to access orthodontic treatment in the  private sector.

    The final decision regarding eligibility for orthodontic treatment is at the discretion of the Director of the Department.

    New Patients

    A written referral is required, including a summary of the child's medical condition and the reason for the referral. These referrals can be sent via post, faxed or emailed. They should be addressed to:

    Director, Department of Dentistry
    Royal Children's Hospital
    Flemington Road

    Fax: (03) 9345 5034




    • Phone receptionist (Ext 55344) or page registrar (pager 55344) to facilitate prompt care.

    Please note that  it is often preferable to examine patient in the dental surgery rather than on the ward.

    Urgent/Emergency Referrals

    • During Office Hours Emergencies
    Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 5:00 pm 

    Department of Dentistry

    Dental registrar

    Telephone: 03  9345 5344
    Extension:  55344

    Page:        55344

    • After Hours Emergencies

    Main Hospital Switchboard

     Telephone:  03  9345 5522
    (ask to page dentist on call)


    Cost of treatment

    The RCH is funded in a similar manner to other public dental services in Victoria which means there is often a co-payment fee for each course of treatment.

    For non-healthcare card holders older than 11 years of age there are fees for each item of treatment, as determined by Dental Health Services Victoria.

    All children born with a cleft (and other specific conditions) can access the Medicare Cleft Scheme which can help with some of the 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. 

    Please contact our Department receptionist for further information (03) 9345 5344

    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.
    • Routine Orthodontic treatment is not available through the Department of  Dentistry. Specific criteria exist. 

    For alternative Dental Services please visit  Alternative Dental Services

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