Children in New Zealand who meet the eligibility criteria for government funded health and disability services are entitled to free dental and oral health care from birth up to their 18th birthday. In order to avail this benefit, one has to enrol the child for this benefit soon after their birth and schedule at least one oral health appointment before the child is 2 years of age.
The number to call for enrolment or queries on this matter is 0800 TALK TEETH (0800 825 583). Parents are generally given an enrolment form from Plunket before their child is 15 months old.
The local District Health Board disburses the dental health benefits. There are a number of registered dental healthcare clinics in each district that have a contract with the local district health board and we, The Dental Hub are one of the demanding clinics.
Here are the services that are covered under this programme:
- Standard oral examinations to ensure general oral health and to check for infections if any
- Radiological examinations as and when deemed necessary by the dentist
- Teeth cleaning to get rid of plaque, tartar and other bacterial build up
- Fluoride treatment to help make the tooth surface resistant to decay
- Fissure sealants that are painted onto the tooth surface to prevent decay
- Tooth fillings to fill cavities caused by decay
- Extractions to remove badly damaged teeth
Please note that any orthodontic treatment (braces to correct malalignment of teeth) is not covered under this programme. However, other dental conditions not covered in the list above may also be partially paid for. In order to know how to partially fund some of the other dental care costs, do feel free to contact our dentists at The Dental Hub.
It is encouraged that children are brought in for regular periodic dental checkups as these can often prevent large scale dental issues in the future. It helps to be positive about oral healthcare around children and schedule appointments at times when the child is not tired so that they are motivated to come to the clinic.