Many pensioners and health care card holders will put off going to the dentist thinking its something they just can’t afford.
Their care however might just be covered through NSW Health or Medicare.
Local dentists Dr Charlie Thompson and Dr Caroline Bowman advise there are currently some government funded dental treatments available.
“These services are not free, they are government funded,” Dr Bowman told The Cobar Weekly.
“NSW Health provides dental treatment for all eligible adults, Pension Concession Card (PCC) holders and Health Care Card (HCC) holders.
“They issue vouchers for patients suffering dental pain, and also offer general care to patients who are on their waiting lists.
“They generally provide Cobar residents with a voucher for Relief of Pain, Assessment (to determine oral health need), general care (cleaning, fillings, extractions, etc) or prosthodontic care (dentures),” she said.
“This allows patients to be seen by any participating private dentist within the Western NSW Local Health District, which usually saves them many trips to Dubbo.”
Medicare provides eligible children with $1,000 over two years for dental care through the Child Dental Benefit Scheme.
“This usually covers regular check-ups, cleaning, and fillings if required,” Dr Bowman said.
For NSW Health services, patients must hold a HCC or PCC and live in the Western NSW Local Health district.
For Medicare services, families receiving Family Tax Benefit Part A will have eligible children. Each child aged between two and 18 within the calendar year will be eligible for up to $1,000 of dental treatment.
“We can only provide services to these patients once NSW Health has approved a voucher for dental treatment,” Dr Bowman said.
“This involves patients contacting the Dubbo call centre to notify them of their dental pain, or to put themselves on the waiting list for treatment.
“Medicare services are funded through the federal government. Eligible families should receive a letter notifying them of their eligibility from Medicare.
“They can also check with Medicare through MyGov, or contact our clinic and we can check on their behalf,” Dr Bowman said.