Friday, December 21, 2018

And that's a wrap on 2018!

That’s a wrap! The ADAVB office closes today (Friday 21 December) at 5pm and reopens on Wednesday 2 January 2019.

It has been a huge year at ADAVB and we wish to thank everyone for making it so great. Whether you attended an event, served on committees or Council, or engaged with us through our communications – we are extremely thankful for your involvement, and look forward to the new year!

Some 2018 highlights include:

  • Dr Kevin Morris elected President.
  • Welcomed four new councillors: Drs Igor Cernavin, Linton Nash, Carolyn Ng and Devin Ong.
  • Record number of voters in the ADAVB Council elections.

  • Highest number of members since 2013.
  • Significant new discounts introduced for first and second year graduates.
  • Parent leave membership introduced.
  • 25 per cent increase in first year graduate members and 17 per cent increase in second year members.

  • Guild Insurance selected as provider of ADAVB Indemnity scheme following detailed tender process by consortium of ADA branches.
  • Dr Stephen Liew elected to Federal ADA Council.
  • Dr Sathyan Saranathan of Goulburn Valley Dental Group awarded ADAVB BOQ Specialist $10,000 CPD Bursary.
  • Delivered 45 CPD courses, including sell out events and a successful Convention with over 800 delegates.
  • Held 17 Practice Plus training events, 21 accreditation workshops and ongoing consulting, at the same time dropping our fees to help more members access services.
  • Effective advocacy about public dental funding, resulting in an increase of $12.1 million to reduce public dental waiting lists in May. Continued lobbying increased awareness and resulted in dental health being featured in a number of pre-election announcements.
  • Negotiated a new EBA for dentists employed in public hospitals and community health centres, which we hope will be implemented in early 2019. This includes $2000 reimbursement for ADAVB membership fees and CPD costs, and significant pay rises for public dentists.
Read about more 2018 highlights on page 8 to 9 of December's Victorian Dentist. 

View some of this year’s highlights in our Facebook gallery.

We wish everyone a safe, happy and restful festive season and a productive and rewarding 2019.

Monday, December 03, 2018

ADA calls for productivity commission into private health insurance

The ADA has joined forces with a range of consumer and health organisations including CHOICE, National Rural Health Alliance and the Consumers’ Federation of Australia in calling on the Federal Government to launch a Productivity Commission into private health insurance.

A joint letter, delivered to all federal MPs, cites a growing perception by consumers that their private health insurance policies are simply not delivering sufficient value, with 70% of people believing that the policies they hold are 'average' or 'poor' value for money. 

The open call to MPs follows the long-running Time2Switch campaign by the ADA which has highlighted the issue of differential rebates where certain extras cover policyholders receive higher benefits that others who are paying the exact same premiums.

The ADAVB supports the ADA's Time2Switch campaign which aims to highlight the issues members and patients experience with private health insurers.

Had an experience with a health fund that you're not happy with? Complete a health fund incident report and send it back to us.

Visit Time2switch/Make-a-Complaint to sign an online letter of complaint to the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman.

Patients who are unsatisfied with their dental rebates can visit to sign an online letter of complaint to the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman.

Monday, November 26, 2018

New getting started member resource for graduating class of 2018

Congratulations to the class of 2018 on finishing your dentistry degree and for all your hard work throughout your studies. We wish you all the best in your final results and are here to support you every step of the way in launching your career in dentistry.

The ADAVB is the only peak body for dentists. No other group or organisation offers you the quality training and professional support that you need PLUS a recommended professional indemnity scheme, AND effective advocacy and representation of the profession AND lifestyle support and rewards. No other group or organisation is looking out for you AND your future patients.

To help you get set to practice in Victoria we have produced a brand new Introduction to the Dental Profession handbook. All 2018 graduate members have been posted and emailed their copy, along with other helpful resources. Let us know if you don't get yours this week!

You can also access it online by logging into the ADAVB website: My ADAVB>Careers with your Victorian membership number and login details.

Please email or call us if you are having difficulty logging in or haven't received your copy by the end of the week. E: or T: 8825 4600.

ADAVB congratulates Labor on Victorian State election

The Australian Dental Association Victorian Branch (ADAVB) congratulates Premier Daniel Andrews and the Labor party on their victory in the Victorian State election.

This election campaign saw the issue of dental health feature prominently, thanks largely to the advocacy of ADAVB and groups like the Victorian Oral Health Alliance.

There were significant dental policy announcements from the Labor Party and Greens designed to improve access to public dental care. This demonstrates the importance Victorian voters place on good oral health.

ADAVB looks forward to working with the Premier, Health Minister and their team to help them deliver their school dental plan and improve access to dental care for all vulnerable Victorians.

More information

Friday, November 23, 2018

Victorian election dental report card

With one day to go until the Victorian State election, the Australian Dental Association Victorian Branch (ADAVB) has run a ruler over the dental policies of the major parties to help you decide where to cast your vote.

Oral health is an important issue, with 40 per cent of Victorians eligible for public dental care. Waiting times have increased by 70 per cent over the past four years to more than 20 months on average. Dental disease is one of the most prevalent health problems affecting Victorians, so improving access to care and prevention is critical.

Labor: B +

Labor are to be congratulated for a bold and ambitious plan to provide free dental care to all state school children as part of a $396 million program over four years.

The emphasis on improving oral health for children is important, however there are some concerns with the plan. By allowing children only enrolled in state schools to access the program, many children who need care will miss out because their parents choose to send them to an independent school. State schools are being used as a proxy for means testing, but it will result in inequity in outcomes - the precise problem that needs to be fixed.

Dan’s van plan is also questionable. It will cost more than $100 million to build 250 vans, and it will be years before they are operational. That money would be better spent delivering services straight away, which could be done in existing clinics and engaging the private sector. Whilst vans might make sense in some regional and rural areas, they are not required in metropolitan Melbourne with easy access to dental clinics, many of which already run screening programs in schools. There are also important issues around consent when care is provided in vans at school where parents wouldn’t attend the appointment with their child.

There are also questions about the costing of this plan. More than 60 per cent of children  are eligible to access the Medicare dental scheme that provides $1000 over two years for treatment; the cost of Labor’s proposal includes pre-existing Medicare funding. This implies that Labor’s funding commitment to this program is actually closer to $268 million.

Greens: A

The Greens have announced an investment of $160 million to double the number of patients accessing dental care over the next four years, which mirrors the policy position of the ADAVB. There is little further detail in their plan, but nonetheless this represents a strong commitment to improve funding to the public sector.

Coalition: D

There has been no significant announcement of dental policy from the Coalition, which has been disappointing. There is a commitment to greater transparency with waiting lists, which is welcomed, however more information alone will do nothing to improved access to care. It is unclear what a Guy Government would do to reduce the 20-month wait for public dental care.

Regardless of the election outcome, the ADAVB looks forward to working closely with the next Victorian Government to implement policies that will improve the oral and general health and well-being of all Victorians.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Victoria’s hidden health crisis now in the spotlight - making dental health a priority

A new report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) is a timely reminder of the importance of good oral health as politicians debate dental policy in the lead-up to this weekend’s Victorian State election. Governments, both state and federal, still have a long way to go to help improve community oral health.

The Australian Dental Association Victorian Branch (ADAVB) has consistently advocated for increased public dental care funding and better access to dental care for vulnerable Victorians. Why is this important? Nationally, over 70,000 hospitalisations due to dental conditions occurred in 2016-17, with almost 17,000 of these hospitalisations in Victoria. These could have been prevented with earlier access to dental care. Tooth decay is also the leading cause of preventable hospitalisations in children under the age of five. Alarmingly, the number of children aged under nine years requiring a general anaesthetic for dental treatment dramatically increased to 2200 in 2017/18, up 39 per cent since 2013/14. Add to this the estimated cost of poor oral health to Victoria exceeding $200 million each year and the need for further action cannot be ignored.

National figures also show that oral health tends to deteriorate as people get older. That’s why it’s so important that people of all ages who need public dental care can gain timely access.

The AIHW report highlighted that dental diseases can affect overall health in so many profound ways – the ability to eat, speak, go to school or work, and cause pain, embarrassment, loss of sleep and social exclusion. They can also exacerbate chronic conditions, including stroke, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. 

Dr Kevin Morris, ADAVB President, said, “Poor oral health is having a huge impact on our community and our health system. Regular preventive dental care is a key factor in tackling this problem. ADAVB has played a significant role in putting dental health at the forefront of policy debate during this election campaign by shining the spotlight on public dental waiting lists, which now exceed 20 months on average. Sustained investment is needed to ensure that vulnerable Victorians don’t miss out on much needed care.”

In the lead up to this weekend’s State election, the ADAVB is urging all political parties to commit to doubling the number of public dental patients treated annually within five years, so that more eligible Victorians can access the care that they need, when they need it.

·        AIHW 2018: Oral Health and Dental Care in Australia: web report 19 November 2018. Cat No. 231. Canberra: AIHW. Available at  Oral health and dental care in Australia

Dr Kevin Morris, ADAVB President                          
A/Prof Matt Hopcraft, ADAVB CEO
Tel: 8825 4600

Sunday, November 18, 2018

ADAVB welcomes increased focus from Labor on child dental health

The Australian Dental Association Victorian Branch (ADAVB) cautiously welcomes the election pledge from the Labor party that promises to provide free dental care at all public primary and secondary schools throughout Victoria.

“Measures that ensure more children have access to dental care are certainly welcome. However, we are uncertain at this stage how this scheme will work in conjunction with the federally funded Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) that already provides up to $1000 over two years for children aged 2-17 years, whose families receive Family Tax Benefit A. The CDBS can currently be accessed at the family’s choice of dental health care provider in both the public and private sector,” said ADAVB President, Dr Kevin Morris.

This new school dental scheme may impact children who already have care provided by their regular family dentist. “Continuity of care is a critical part of any health care system, and parents should be able to maintain a choice of provider, as they currently can with the CDBS," Dr Morris said. “It is important that families can continue to visit their existing dentist under this new scheme,” he said.

Regular visits to the dentist are an important measure for the prevention and early detection of tooth decay and other oral health issues and help to establish healthy behaviours and set the basis for good oral health care into adulthood.

The ADAVB has been advocating for increased funding to tackle public dental waiting lists, with waiting times increasing 70 per cent in the past four years. It’s not clear that this new plan will significantly alleviate pressure on waiting times for adult patients, with resources directed to providing free care for more than 618,000 children in public schools in Victoria.

The ADAVB looks forward to seeing further details of this new plan, and working with the Labor Government, if re-elected, to ensure the school dental scheme provides the best outcomes for all children.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

ADAVB Dentist ergonomics and wellbeing programme

Dentists are at risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders due to exposure to awkward positions and repetitive use of small hand tools. The most common regions affected are neck, shoulder and back.

As an exclusive member only benefit, our ADAVB members have free access to the Dentist Wellbeing Ergonomics Programme.

This program that has been designed to help dentists maximise comfort, productivity and overall wellbeing at work, while you are practicing.

The program provides education and instructions on how to set yourself up in the best way, in your treatment space. Some of the topics include clinical area layout, seating, patient position, writing clinical notes and proactive stretching.

Access this program free at

Proudly sponsored by PSA Insurance.