023 – Impact of COVID-19 on dental service provision: analysis of the Australian Child Dental Benefits Schedule

  • Chief Investigator A: A/Prof Matthew Hopcraft
  • Chief Investigator B: Dr Glenda Farmer


Oral health is essential to maintaining good overall health and access to dental care is necessary for the early detection, prevention, and control of oral diseases. The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a significant disruption in the provision of dental services globally.


To investigate the impact of COVID-19 on dental services provided through the Child Dental Benefits Schedule.


COVID-19 has had a significant impact on dental care through mandatory or voluntary restrictions on the provision of services to prevent transmission in the dental setting. Reduced access to care will increase the burden of dental disease, particularly in vulnerable population groups.


Aggregated data from the Australian Government Medicare Child Dental Benefits Schedule will be analysed for the period February to June 2020 and compared to date from 2019. Changes in the number of services provided per month will be compared to the monthly average for 2019 and the same month for 2019.

What are the expected outcomes?

It is anticipated this project will inform governments, regulators, professional associations and other stakeholders in advocating for measures to ensure that disparities in oral health outcomes do not widen as a result of this pandemic.