Dental health experts say the Federal Government has failed to stop dentists from rorting the Medicare dental scheme.
The Senate has twice blocked the Government’s attempts to replace the scheme with a cheaper, more targeted plan.
Associate Professor Hans Zoellner, from the Association for the Promotion of Dental Health, says the Government should retain the scheme and administer it responsibly.
“A handful of dentists have been exploiting the scheme and overservicing patients and giving too much crown and bridge,” he said.
“There’s an unnecessarily great expense, a significant amount which is probably not required and just purely cosmetic.
“The Government really has an important role to regulate the scheme but instead of regulating dental Menticare, the Government has simply refused to even look at it.”
But Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon says the program was poorly designed by the previous Government.
“It has lent itself to be able to be abused, it’s clear when there is an undersupply of dental services in the community and when dental care is expensive that any program would provide some relief,” she said.
“But we believe it would be much better targeted to those who have the most need.”