In a life threatening emergency dial Triple Zero (000)

In a life threatening emergency dial Triple Zero (000)
ACT Public Hospitals

Canberra Hospital

5124 0000

Calvary Hospital

6201 6111

Mental Health

Call Mental Health Triage on

1800 629 354

(free call except from mobiles or public phones) or

6205 1065

Poisons Hotline

For a poison emergency in Australia call


Drug and Alcohol Help Line

The Drug and Alcohol Help Line is available 24-hours, 7 days a week on

5124 9977

Health Protection Service

For after hours urgent public health matters including environmental health, radiation safety, food poisoning and communicable disease management phone:

(02) 6205 1700


24 hour health advice

1800 022 222

ACT State Emergency Service

Emergency help
during flood or storms

132 500

Dental Health

Indicator  description

The mean number of decayed, missing or filled teeth (DMFT) among ACT primary school children aged 12 years.

What do we  measure?

This index quantifies dental health status based on the number of teeth decayed, missing or extracted of children aged 12 years in the ACT. The number of decayed (D), missing (M) or filled teeth (FT) is expressed as the DMFT (for permanent teeth).

Why is this important?

Dental Caries (tooth decay) is the most common oral disease and among the most prevalent health conditions in Australian children. The National Child Oral Health Study 2012-14 states that just over 40.0 per cent of children aged 5-10 years in Australia had experienced caries in their primary teeth and one-quarter of children aged 6-14 years had experienced caries in their permanent teeth.

Child oral health remains a significant population health issue in Australia with only 50.0 per cent of children brushing their teeth the recommended twice a day and 57.0 per cent of children seeing a dental professional before the age of five years.

Poor oral health is a significant contributor to the burden of disease in Australia contributing to the rising cost of healthcare. An estimated $10 billion is spent each year on oral health with many of these costs incurred for treatment of oral disease which is preventable.

Policy Context

The ACT Dental Health Program (DHP) offers a range of child and youth dental services to the community to all children under the age of 14 years who live in or attend an ACT school, and young people under the age of 18 with access to a Centrelink issued Pension Concession or Health Care Card.

The ACT DHP strategically identifies and targets access for Priority Population Groups as indicated in Australia's National Oral Health Plan 2015-2024.16 These include people who are socially disadvantaged or on low incomes and people with additional and/or specialised health care needs.

The Child Dental Benefits Schedule (Australian Government initiative) is a program that provides access for eligible children to benefits for basic dental services to children including dental check-ups, x-rays, cleaning, fissure sealing, fillings and extractions. The total benefit entitlement will be capped at $1,000 per child over a two calendar year period.

How is the ACT progressing?

Table 8: Mean DMFT Index rate for ACT children aged at 12 years, 2012-14



ACT rate


Australian rate


Source: University of Adelaide 2016, Oral health of Australian children: The National Child Oral Health Study 2012-14.

Note The University of Adelaide, in collaboration with public dental jurisdictions around Australia, undertakes a national survey representative of all children once every ten years.

16 COAG Council 2015, Australia’s National Oral Health Plan 2015–2024