Dental Care

Our program helps people who can't afford dental care to access free or low-cost dentistry.

Many disadvantaged people go without dental care, often because of the long waiting lists at community dental clinics, or they cannot afford the co-payments required for treatment. Yet lack of essential dental work can severely affect people’s overall health, sap their confidence and even prevent them from working.

When people with missing, unsightly and painful teeth have their dental health restored, not only is their overall health and wellbeing improved but they can also re-enter employment.

The Brotherhood’s Dental Care program can assist people gain access to community dental clinics, and help cover the cost of treatment through a community clinic or in some cases by a private dentist. 

Eligibility and contact

People who reside in Victoria, hold a Health Care Card and are in need of dental care are eligible for the program.

In some instances people who do not have a Health Care Card but are in urgent need of dental assistance, may be able to be assisted.  

If you'd like to provide us with your details it would be most helpful to us if you can do so by  
completing our form online to let us know how we may be able to help you. This way we can get in touch with you easier and faster than before.

If you do not wish to fill out the form, please send us your contact details by email and we will contact you as soon as possible, please be aware we will be able to respond to you faster if the online form is completed.

Phone: (03) 8781 5912

Volunteer with the program

The Dental Care program welcomes volunteers across Australia who are qualified dentists, orthodontists or denture makers. 

To view the volunteering information, or to enquire, visit our Volunteer page.

History and research

The Dental Care program grew out of a trial in 2010 called Teeth First after many of our clients reported that poor dental health prevented them from finding jobs, and left them feeling self-conscious or embarrassed in social situations.

In 2011, to throw light on the impact of lack of access to dental care for millions of Australians, the Brotherhood published the End The Decay report into the economic and social costs of poor dental health which found that:

  • hospital admissions from dental conditions are the largest category of preventable acute hospital admissions;
  • almost a quarter of adults reported feeling self conscious or embarrassed because of oral health problems;
  • children in the lowest socio-economic areas had 70% more tooth decay than children in the highest socio-economic areas;
  • adults on the lowest incomes were almost 60 times more likely to have no teeth than those on the highest incomes;
  • Indigenous Australians were twice as likely to have untreated decay compared to other Australians.

The Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) acknowledges and understands its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and recognises that all children and young people have the right to be treated with respect and care, and to be safe from all forms of abuse. BSL has a zero tolerance towards child abuse.
Read the official statement signed by the Executive Director.

The Brotherhood recognises the harm that family violence causes and that freedom from violence is a basic human right.
We will support our staff, volunteers, clients and the community if they experience violence.

Find out more about the work of the Brotherhood
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The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.

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