Community Oral Health Service
In Taranaki free basic dental care for children and young people (aged 0-17) is provided by Taranaki DHB Community Oral Health Service (previously the school dental service) and contracted dentists.
Basic dental care includes:
- An annual check up
- Oral health advice and encouragement for good oral health
- Examination and dental X-rays, if necessary
- Preventative treatment, such as topical fluoride and fissure sealants (coatings)
- Restorations (fillings) and extractions
Children can be enrolled for free dental visits from birth. It is important to look after baby teeth as decay can affect a child’s eating,their speech and development, and may even affect their adult teeth as well. As children grow regular dental care helps to keep teeth healthy and means problems can be recognised and treated early. Free dental services continue for teenagers until their 18th birthday; regardless of whether they attend a school or not.
Children requiring treatment that cannot be provided by the Community Oral Health Service are referred to either a private dentist or the Taranaki DHB Hospital Dental Unit.
Orthodontic treatment is not funded or provided by the Taranaki DHB.
Care will not be free if you chose a dentist who does not have a contract with the DHB. For a list of contracted dentists click here.