A detailed look at Queensland Health Oral Health Centres and Brisbane Dental Hospital for kids and families.
What is the Brisbane Dental Hospital?
The old Brisbane Dental Hospital is located in Herston, and is classified as a state heritage building (the beautiful building you see in the main photo). The building represented far more than somewhere to get that pesky hole in your tooth filled; it represented the development of public dental services in Queensland.
The Brisbane Dental Hospital relocated in 2017 to the University of Queensland campus at 288 Herston Road. It is now known as the Oral Health Centre and is still an important part of the public health scheme for Queensland. The scheme that was initiated in the 1930’s continues to provide public dental services to this day.
The UQ Oral Health Centre provides free dental care to eligible Queensland resident adults, children and adolescents. These public dental services are offered through mobile dental clinics, school dental clinics and community dental clinics. You can find a list of participating Queensland Health oral health facilities on the Queensland Health website.
What services does the UQ Oral Health Centre offer?
Like the former Brisbane Dental Hospital, the UQ Oral Health Centre and other Queensland Health Oral Health Facilities cater for all of your general dental needs. This includes dental therapy and hygiene for all ages, general and emergency dental services, denture or prosthesis manufacture, maintenance and adjustment.
They also offer specialist oral services, including oral surgery, endodontics, orthodontics, periodontics and paedodontics (eligibility and category criteria apply for these services).
In the UQ Oral Health Centre they also teach and train students undertaking dental studies. They partake in patient education and training and also hold community education programs.
What services are in place to help families?
We already know how expensive general life is – factor in the cost of a trip to the dentist and I’m sure you might feel the slight urge to faint.
The public dental services in Queensland, including the UQ Oral Health Centre in Herston, are funded by government and provide free treatment to those who are eligible.
The Commonwealth provides assistance for 2-17 year olds through the Child Dental Benefits Schedule. This assistance covers a range of services including examinations, x-rays, cleaning, fissure sealing, fillings, root canals and extractions. Eligible children will have access to a benefit cap of $1,000 over a two calendar year period.
For adults, the National Partnership Program Agreement on public dental services has our back, and this agreement will tend to around 400,000 public adult dental patients.
Lastly, the National Oral Health Plan provides guidance in strengthening Australia’s oral health system in order to prevent and reduce the prevalence of oral disease.
So, who is eligible for free dental care?
Both adults and children can be eligible.
Free dental care for adults
For adults to be eligible for publicly funded dental care you need to be a Queensland resident and receive the benefits from one of the following:
- pensioner concession card issued by department of veteran affairs or Centrelink
- health care card
- Commonwealth seniors health card
- Queensland seniors card
Free dental care for children
For children to be eligible for free dental care in Brisbane, they need to be a Queensland resident and be one of the following
- between 4 years of age and not yet completed Year 10 at school
- younger than 4 years of age or have completed year 10 and are dependents of current concession card holders or hold a current concession card
- under the guardianship of the Director-General, Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services
A completed medical history and consent form is required for all children and young people prior to commencing treatment. Children may be entitled to $1000 of free dental treatment per 2 years. You can read more about the Child Dental Benefits Schedule for children here.
Government dental vouchers
In some cases, some patients who are on the list mentioned in the dot points above and on the public waiting list may be offered a outsourcing dental voucher in order to receive discounted treatment in a private practice. This is what happened to me a while back. I was on the waiting list for the Brisbane Dental Hospital and I got a text message saying that I could choose from a dentist of their list (they gave me a link to the list) and have a dollar value to spend on getting a filling. I chose the closest dentist to me (literally in walking distance) and got my filling there. I thought this was a much better system that waiting to get into the dental hospital at Herston!
Emergency dental services
The Queensland Health Oral Health service can also help you with dental emergencies.
Types of emergencies include accidents that involve your teeth or mouth, toothache, tooth or mouth bleeding, infections and swelling.
You can ask to be seen at the dental hospital if any of the following occurs:
- knocked out tooth
- chips, fractures and cracks
- bitten lips or cheeks
- abscesses and swelling
- soft tissue trauma and bleeding
- jaw pain
Where are the Brisbane Dental Hospital and UQ Oral Health Centre located?
The old Brisbane Dental Hospital is located in Herston, and trust me you won’t miss it – with the beautiful two-story rendered building sitting on the corner at 168 Turbot St in Brisbane City. The new location of the Oral Health Centre is located at the University of Queensland School of Dentistry, Herston Road, Herston. It is a more modern building on the right hand side of the UQ School of Dentistry.
But don’t fear if you can’t get to Herston, there are a number of other Brisbane dental clinics that offer the exact same services to those who are eligible.
Other dental hospitals across North and South Brisbane:
Metro North Dental Services
- Pine Rivers
Metro South Dental Services
- Browns Plains
- Logan Central
- South Brisbane
Contact details for the dental hospitals
Find the closest clinic location via this link.
For appointments, call the oral health on 1300 300 850.