Dental practitioner recognition

To provide services under the Medicare Benefits Schedule you have to be recognised in your field as a dental practitioner.

To be recognised as a dentist or dental practitioner for Medicare you must meet all of the following:

  • be registered or licensed with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) or the Dental Board of Australia
  • meet the eligibility requirements set out in the Dental Benefits Act 2008 and the Dental Benefits Rules 2014.

You also need to meet specific eligibility criteria for different types of dental practitioners.

Eligibility for recognition as a dental practitioner

Dental specialists

Dental specialists are dentists who have completed additional specialised training and education. They register with both AHPRA and the Dental Board of Australia. They must register specifically for their specialist area to access Medicare benefits for specialist dental services.

Dental prosthetists

Eligibility for recognition as a dental prosthetist for Medicare purposes depends on the type of recognition you’re seeking.

Short-term, interim or provisional registration

We only recognise dental prosthetists for the stated period when licensed to practice for a short-term, interim or provisional period . After this time, they must give us evidence of their current licence so we can continue to recognise them.

Company registration

We can’t recognise dental prosthetists who are registered or licenced to practise in the name of a company. They need to practise under relevant state or territory law, as an individual, for us to recognise them.

Non-practising registration

We can’t recognise dental prosthetists who are non-practising.

Limited, specific or special purpose registration

For us to recognise them, dental prosthetists need to give us evidence if they are providing services under a:

  • limited
  • specific
  • special purpose registration or licence.

This could be advice from the relevant state or territory registration board.

Dental hygienist, dental therapist and oral health therapist

To be recognised as a dental hygienist, dental therapist or oral health therapist for Medicare you must be registered or licensed with either the:

  • Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)
  • Dental Board of Australia.

Representative Public Dentist or Representative Public Dental Practitioner

Public dental services are Australian Government funded and are provided free of charge to eligible patients. These services are delivered through a range of public facilities including mobile dental clinics, school dental clinics and community dental clinics.

There are two professions who can provide public dental services:

  • Representative Public Dentists (RPD) are dentists nominated by a state or territory
  • Representative Public Dental Practitioner (RPDP) are dental hygienists, dental therapists or oral health therapists nominated by a state or territory.

In RPDs and RPDPs must have:

  • a general or specialist registration with the Dental Board of Australia
  • a provider number for each public sector clinic location they’re responsible for under the representative public dentist model.

Claim Medicare benefits as dental practitioner

If you meet the recognition criteria, you can apply for your initial Medicare provider number.

Removal of recognition

We’ll remove your recognition if we’re notified by the registering body that you no longer meet Medicare eligibility requirements.

To ask us to no longer recognise you for Medicare purposes, send us a written request. This can be an email or a letter and must include your:

  • provider number
  • full name
  • date of birth.

You must to send the request yourself. No one can send it on your behalf.

Page last updated: 11 October 2023.
QC 46076