Your dentist provides care to keep your teeth and gums strong and healthy. Having regular dental checks means they can pick up on problems early before they get too bad.

Children and adolescents

In New Zealand, children are eligible for free dental care from 0 to 17 years of age, until their 18th birthday. The sections below tell you about how you can enrol your child for free dental care and where and how to access treatment. 

Birth to Year 8

The Auckland Regional Dental Service (ARDS) School Dental Service provides free dental services to children enrolled with the service from birth to Year 8. The service has school clinics across the Auckland region. For more information about the service, phone 0800 TALK TEETH (0800 825 583) and press 1, or visit or visit Auckland Regional Dental Service (ARDS).

If your baby was born in one of Auckland's main hospitals, they will have been automatically enrolled with ARDS. Your child will be invited to a dental appointment when they are about 1 year old.

If your child is new to Auckland or new to New Zealand, they may not be enrolled with ARDS. Visit Auckland Regional Dental Service (ARDS).

Enrol your children in the free dental service as early as possible. This will help them look after their baby teeth and help their permanent teeth grow well and stay healthy. You will also help prevent your child from developing tooth decay and the problems that can come with it, including pain, problems with eating and development, and issues with the development of their permanent teeth.

Adolescents (Year 9 until their 18th birthday)

Adolescents are publicly funded and entitled to free basic oral health services from Year 9 to their 18th birthday.

Your child does not have to be in school to access free dental services. For more information about adolescent dental care or to find a dental practice that provides funded dental care near you, call 0800 TALK TEETH (0800 825 583) or visit Auckland Regional Dental Service (ARDS).



You will have to pay privately for most adult dental services.

Dental services funded for adults

A limited range of dental services are funded for some adults.

  • Disabled people or people with medical conditions such as mouth cancer may be referred to a hospital for their dental treatment by their usual dental practitioner or healthcare provider.
  • People on low incomes who have a Community Services Card may be able to get emergency dental care, such as pain relief or extractions through their local Te Whatu Ora district.

These services are provided by public hospitals or dentists contracted by Te Whatu Ora. You may still need to pay some of the treatment cost.

Some people on low incomes may be eligible for a Special Needs Grant for immediate and essential dental care from Work and Income. 

Special needs grants - Work and Income

Emergency dental and relief of pain

If you or a whanau member have a toothache or injury to your teeth or gums, get help as soon as possible.

If you have minor problems

If the problem is not too bad, phone your dentist. Let them know you have a toothache or injury and make an appointment.

If you have serious problems

If the toothache is bad, or the injury appears serious, get to an after-hours dentist. If it is normally safe for you to take painkillers such as paracetamol, you can do this before you see them.

After hours dentists

If you are age 18 and over and are suffering from toothache but don’t know where to go or how you will afford treatment, you may be able to access low-cost emergency dental and relief of pain services from a DHB-funded provider.

You can access publicly funded emergency dental and relief of pain services if you are a New Zealand resident aged 18 or over who has a Community Services Card or pension card.  Click here for more information on Community Services Cards; even if you don’t have one right now, you might be able to get one.

How much does it cost?

If you are New Zealand resident, you will be charged $40.00 including GST for the relief of pain service provided. You can visit the relief of pain provider a maximum of 3 times per year.

For the $40.00 charge, one tooth may be dressed, there may be antibiotics prescribed to treat the infection, or, if required, the tooth may be pulled out. This service does not include any ongoing treatment to the tooth such as fillings or root canals, dentures or orthodontic treatment.

For all dental services always ask for a cost estimate before treatment. Quotes may also be provided for Work & Income NZ financial assistance towards dental treatment.

Where to go for dental treatment

You can contact one of the providers below for an appointment. When you come to your appointment, please bring proof of your New Zealand resident status and a list of any medications you are taking. Please note, there are parking charges at hospital clinics.

The Fono Dental

Monday-Friday; 9am to 3:30pm

  • 7 Halver Rd, Manurewa
  • Ph: 267 6331

Dental Planet

Open 7 days

  • 11E Bakerfield Place, Manukau
  • 10 Waddon Place, Maangere
  • Ph: 0800 262 2208

Māhū Dental

Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5pm

  • Trust Health Care, Cnr Halver Rd & Newhook Lane, Manurewa
  • Ph: 268 2266

Pacifica Dental

Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm

  • 147 Great South Rd, Manurewa
  • Ph: 269 7074

Takanini Dental Care

Open 6 days

  • 108 Great South Rd, Takanini
  • Ph: 296 2636

Auckland DHB Hospital & Specialist Dentistry

Monday to Friday

  • Buckland Road Treatment Centre, 225 Buckland Road West, Mangere
  • Greenlane Clinical Centre, Level 1, Building 4, Greenlane Road West, Greenlane
  • Ph: 630 9809

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