Medicare Child Dental Benefit
As of June 30, 2016 the Australian Government Medicare Child Dental Benefit will no longer be available to Australian families.
The Medicare Child Dental Benefit scheme started in January 2014 and offers financial support for basic dental services for children aged 2–17. Eligible families, teenagers and approved care organisations received a letter to confirm eligibility.
Don’t worry if you have lost your letter of eligibility; give the Human Services team a call and they can look it up for you.
The 3 eligibility basics:
- Children aged between 2–17 years on any one day of the calendar year
- Family, guardian or carer receives certain government benefits, such as Family Tax Benefit Part A for at least part of the calendar year
- Are eligible for Medicare
What can you claim?
Under the Medicare Child Dental Benefit Scheme, basic dental services are capped at $1,000 per child over two consecutive calendar years. If you do not use all of your $1,000 benefit in the first year of eligibility, you can use it in the second year if you are still eligible. Any remaining balance will not be carried forward at the end of the second year.
Benefits cover a range of services including examinations, x-rays, cleaning, fissure sealing, fillings, root canals and extractions.
What can’t you claim?
Benefits are not available for orthodontic or cosmetic dental work and cannot be paid for any services provided in a hospital.
Medicare Child Dental Benefit Schedule services will not count towards the Medicare Safety Net or the Extended Medicare Safety Net thresholds.
You cannot claim a benefit under the Medicare Child Dental Benefit Schedule and from your private health insurer for the same dental service.
How you make a claim?
To use your Medicare Child Dental Benefit Voucher at Harris Dental Boutique you will need to pay the account and then claim your benefit from Medicare.
To submit your claim with Medicare, follow these steps:
- Download the Medicare claim form and post it to
- the Department of Human Services,
GPO Box 9822 in your capital city,
- or placing it in the drop-box at one of the Medicare service centres
- the Department of Human Services,
- Visit your local Medicare Service Centre
- Call 132 011
There has been no announcement if there will be anything replacing the Medicare Dental Benefit Scheme, so if you would like to use your Medicare Child Dental Benefit voucher please contact the Harris Dental Boutique team.
“I had dentures for 15 years without a problem, and since I got these new ones, they are loose and I cannot chew!”
How often do you think we are asked why a new denture is loose? The answer: a lot!
There are a number of reasons why new dentures are worse than old dentures. Some are technical dental problems that can be fixed, and some are patient problems that cannot be fixed.
The first problem is adaptation.
The mouth changes over time. It changes slowly, and your brain is easily able to adapt to these changes since they are occurring so slowly that you don’t notice. The gums and bone are shrinking slowly. The teeth are wearing. The distance from your chin to your nose is reducing as the gums and teeth get shorter so you have to close your mouth further to get your teeth to touch (this is why really worn dentures make you look older because they make your scrunch your face up to get your teeth to touch).
When we make new dentures, we correct all these problems at once. It is not uncommon for the height of the gums and the teeth to reduce by up to half a centimetre with old dentures. This means that the patient new dentures need to be 5 – 6mm bigger to compensate.
Imagine how big a change this is for the automatic program in your brain that controls chewing to deal with. We know that everyone’s chewing function reduces for up to six weeks with new dentures, no matter how good they are.
Your tongue and lips and cheeks are also very important to holding your denture in position, so a lot of time is taken for your brain to reprogram to get used to the new shape of the denture.
The second problem is expectations.
Often your old denture is also loose, but you think it is just because the denture is old. Surely if it fits like a new one, it will be stable. Nope. Often looseness is due to the shape of the mouth, and a new denture may not fix this problem
The third problem is the way the gums shrink.
Around the lower jaw, there are a lot of muscles. The lip, tongue and cheeks are all muscles that move a lot. When the teeth are just extracted, the jaw is very big and pokes a long way above the muscles so it is very stable. As the jaw shrinks down lower, the top of the jaw is closer to the muscles and the movement of these muscles is more likely to bump the denture. This is a problem that cannot be fixed with new dentures and no matter how many adjustments you get, the denture will still pop up when you chew, laugh or speak.
The fourth problem is a design issue.
The part of the denture that pokes down either side of the jaw is called the flange. On the lower, when you take the mould of the patient’s mouth, their tongue is sitting down. However, as soon as they speak, the tongue lifts up. If the flange of the denture pokes down too far, the tongue will press on it and lift the denture out as you speak or eat. This is the most common problem that we find. In this case, the flanges need to be trimmed back so that the tongue cannot lift them.
Lastly, the bite.
If the teeth do not all hit at the same time with a solid thunk, then the denture will tilt. Having some teeth hit harder than others is a big problem that will cause pain, and dentures that move about all the time. The bite is not easy to check, as the pressure of the bite will make them tilt and then hit together more evenly
If the bite and the flanges are correct, and after a period of time, you still cannot get used to the dentures, it means your brain is not wanting to reprogram to the new dentures, or the shape of your mouth does not allow you to have stable dentures.
Most of the time it is flanges or bites that are the problem when it comes to dentures, but some people may need implants to get any comfort.
Dr Linc reveals how to stop Easter from rotting your teeth…
Easter for most is all about chocolate – lots and lots of it! Delicious as they are, the Easter eggs and chocolately recipes that are made every Easter season inject our systems with sugar.
Are you worried about your teeth during Easter? Do you suffer every time you eat something sweet?
Here are Dr Linc’s expert tips on how to limit the damage to your teeth this Easter weekend.
Don’t stop your routine
Make sure during Easter weekend that you don’t forget your usual brushing and cleaning routine. The worst thing you could do is to stop brushing! Good Friday to Easter Monday is the prime time you will be indulging in dinners out, sugary snacks, chocolate and alcohol; all of these can damage your teeth if you ditch your regular routine.
Time for ‘treat o’clock’
Let’s face it, you are going to be eating sweets and chocolate over Easter. However, you can minimise the damage it causes your teeth by using the “treat o’clock” method. Limit your treats to specific times, such as for dessert straight after meals. This will limit the exposure of sugar on your teeth, rather than continuously snacking on Easter eggs all day long.
Say no to toffees
Toffees and hard boiled lollies are also enjoyed during Easter, but they can wreak havoc, pulling out old fillings, breaking teeth, and often getting stuck between your teeth. The sugar used to make toffees is usually very sticky and will coat your teeth. It isn’t easy to clean off and this can cause damage to your tooth enamel. Try something softer – I prefer caramel-filled eggs.
Drink plenty of water
Drink water when eating Easter treats, instead of juice or soft drinks that contain lots of sugar. Even just rinsing your mouth with water after each chocolate egg will help rinse excess sugar off your teeth. You could also try drinking milk, as a great alternative.
Hopefully these tips will help keep the tooth damage to a minimum this Easter weekend. Harris Dental Boutique is closed during the Easter long weekend and will open again on Tuesday 29th March at 8:30am. If you have a dental emergency during the Easter weekend, please call Harris Dental Boutique on 07 4159 0660 and our after hours message service will direct you.
Bundaberg and Bargara Dentist
What is World Oral Health Day?
World Oral Health Day (WOHD) is celebrated all around the world every year on 20 March. WOHD celebrates the benefits of a healthy mouth, promotes the issues around poor oral health, and teaches the importance of oral hygiene for teeth, young and old.
Traditionally, World Oral Health Day is a day full of activities that make patients laugh, sing and smile!
Why is WOHD important?
WOHD is important because 90% of the world’s population will suffer from oral diseases in their lifetime – and many of these are avoidable.
WOHD offers dentists a platform to take action and help reduce the overall oral health disease burden in their community.
In 2010, Dr Linc established the Free Dental Health Days in Bundaberg, offering free dental treatment to patients to help reduce the waiting list on the public system and to those who can not afford to pay for private dental treatment.
What is the theme for 2016 WOHD?
WOHD 2016 aims to recognise the impact oral health has on overall physical health and wellbeing and to help inspire everyone for a positive change. The 2016 campaign message is: It all starts here. Healthy mouth. Healthy body!
This powerful and engaging message is rooted in the global truth of oral health’s importance, galvanising the audience to drive a movement for change.
Have you registered your interest in Dr Linc’s Free Dental Health Days? Every few years, Harris Dental Boutique hosts a free dental health day.
We will keep your contact details on hand and when we have more information on our next free dental health day we will contact you. Register your interest below or contact us here.