Oral health

A large proportion of people living in remote and rural Australia do not have access to a regular dental service. Recognising the important link between oral health and overall health, the RFDS has established oral health services in parts of remote and rural Australia. These services are provided using fly-in fly-out, mobile and outreach deliver models, and funded by state governments, private investments, or the use of donor funds

In 2017/18, the RFDS provided 21,828 episodes of dental care across Australia.

Graphic: Two RFDS dentists with a patient in a dental van

RFDS research has determined that the disparity in oral health outcomes between city and country is directly related to disparities in dental care availability and access. On average, more than six in ten (63%) major city adults visited a dentist in a year compared to little more than four in ten (45%) in remote areas.

To find out more about oral health access and outcomes read the RFDS research paper on oral health here:

"Closing the Gap: disparities in oral health access and outcomes in major cities and remote and rural Australia".


Zaviah's story

"For children in Bourke it is nearly a five-hour drive to Dubbo which would mean an overnight stay for families who would have to take time off work and take the children out of school just to see a dentist."

Read Zaviah's story
Oral Health

Qld Oral Health

Thanks to Commonwealth funding, we are able to deliver vital oral health services to 14 remote communities throughout Queensland via our RFDS Dental Service.

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The WA mobile dental van

Dental Services in WA

In keeping with its philosophy to provide health care to those living in rural and remote locations across WA, the RFDS coordinate two dental programs providing services to rural and remote locations, including Wiluna, Warburton, Mingenew, Morawa and Perenjori.

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Dentist in the outback

Oral Health Programs in NSW

Our oral healthcare services and clinics are vital for providing rural and remote communities with access to high-quality oral and dental care.

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Dental Care RFDS Tas

Dental Care in TAS

Good oral health is important to overall health, unfortunately access to oral health services and dental treatments can be particularly difficult for Tasmanians living in rural and remote areas across Tasmania. RFDS Tasmania are now able to deliver dental services via our team of dental professionals in a mobile dental setting to provide clinics to small rural communities throughout Tasmania where distance can be difficult.

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Two little girls holding toothbrushes

Mobile Dental Care in VIC

Poor oral health can lead to serious health complications and in some parts of Victoria, it is the second leading cause of preventable hospital admissions. Working with a team of dentists and dental assistants the Flying Doctor Dental Clinic is a purpose built mobile dental van that provides treatment to small rural communities throughout Victoria where distance is a barrier to access.

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child has teeth examined

Oral Health Care Program

The RFDS Oral Health Care Program offers a mobile dental and oral health care service to residents and communities throughout rural and remote South Australia and the Northern Territory. Regular ‘fly-in’ clinics provide opportunities for people of all ages living in remote locations to access high-quality dental care at no cost to the patient.

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children learning how to brush their teeth

Giving people back their smiles

"You've given me back my smile," was the response of one woman after attending an RFDS Oral Health Clinic in Bourke.

Read Giving people back their smiles