Department of Health

Dental health for Supported Residential Services residents

Key messages

  • Poor oral health can contribute to other health problems
  • The department expects proprietors to ensure residents have access to toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • Supported Residential Services (SRS) residents who are healthcare or pensioner concession cardholders are eligible for public dental care.

Promote oral health for overall health

Oral health is important for overall health, so:

  • Residents should be encouraged to maintain their oral health by eating well, limiting sugary food and drinks and drinking fluoridated tap water.
  • Residents should brush their teeth with a fluoride toothpaste twice a day.
  • Residents are encouraged to quit smoking to improve oral and general health.
  • Residents should be aware of the effects of medication that can have an impact on their mouth.
  • Residents should have regular oral health checks by a professional.
  • Staff should be encouraged to support residents to look after their teeth and dentures.

Failure to take care of teeth leads to health problems including:

  • tooth decay
  • gum infections and chronic gum disease
    • if residents with diabetes develop gum disease, their diabetes becomes more difficult to control, and the likelihood diabetic complications increases
  • poor physical health.

Schedule 9 of the SRS Health and Wellbeing StandardsExternal Link outlines that proprietors need to ensure residents have access to an appropriate range of toiletries.

The department expects that proprietors ensure residents have access to toothbrushes and toothpaste.

Pension-level Supported Residential Services oral health promotion initiative

The pension-level Supported Residential Services (SRS) oral health promotion initiative aims to improve the oral health of assisted pension-level SRS residents.

It operates in the pension-level SRS 's listed below:

  • Supporting Accommodation for Vulnerable Victorians Initiative (SAVVI)
  • Pension Level Project (PLP).

The department funds a number of agencies to deliver the program.

The dental hygienist/dental assistant can:

  • undertake oral health assessments
  • refer residents to clinic-based treatment if required
  • provide group education for residents
  • provide oral health kits/resources to residents (tooth brushes and toothpaste)
  • provide information and education to SRS proprietors and staff to assist in supporting residents to improve their oral hygiene and oral health.
  • assist SRS staff to include oral health goals within residents’ support plans.

Service providers are available across Victoria, these areas and providers are listed below:

Contact the service provider in your area and ask to speak to the SRS oral health program coordinator to arrange for a service to visit your SRS.

Access to public dental clinics

SRS residents who are healthcare or pensioner concession cardholders are eligible for public dental care and receive priority access to those services.

People who have priority access to dental care are offered the next available appointment for general care and are not placed on a waiting list.

For further information about eligibility and access visit the Access to public dental care services page.

Public dental services are provided through the Royal Dental Hospital Melbourne in addition to integrated and registered community health services across Victoria.

For contact details for these agencies visit the Dental Health Services VictoriaExternal Link website.

Reviewed 10 July 2023


Contact us

Dental health team Department of Health

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