Frequently Asked Questions

What do we mean by FREE dental care?
Young people are entitled to free basic dental care from 0 until their 18th birthday.

What is free basic dental care?
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

What happens in a dental emergency (relief of pain)?
If a child aged 0-18 has an accident and damages their adult teeth, you should contact your usual dentist. If you do not have one, you should phone a dental clinic and speak to a dental therapist. If a child has an accident and damages their baby teeth, you should contact a dental clinic and speak to a dental therapist. ACC will often fund a part of the cost. Please discuss this with the dental staff.

Will the dental care my child currently receives still be free?
Yes, from birth to 18 years old the dental care received will continue to be free of charge.

How will I know when my child is due for their yearly dental appointment?
The dental staff will contact you by phone, letter or text, with a date and time of the dental appointment or you are welcome to contact us on 0800 TALK TEETH (0800 825 583).

What if the date or time does not suit me?
Phone the dental staff and change the appointment to a date and time that does suit you and your family on 0800 TALK TEETH.

Can I have the dental checks for all my children at once to avoid having to make many visits?
Yes, we would prefer to have whanau/family dental checks together, where possible.

Will my children’s dental appointment be during school hours?
Yes, however dental checks can be provided before and after school, when possible.

Can I schedule my children’s dental appointment for during the school holidays?

Will my children see a dental therapist or a dentist?
Generally your children will see a dental therapist. However, if treatment is beyond the dental therapist’s scope of practice, your child may be seen by a dentist. If they are a teenager they may wish to visit their family dentist.

Will my children have dental X-rays onsite?
All the equipment, including X-ray machines will be onsite.

If where my children need to go for their dental appointment changes, how will I know where to go?
The dental staff will contact you by phone, letter or text and advise you of the date and time and where to go for the dental check.

If I cannot go to where the dental appointment is, is there any transport help or another place I can take my children for their dental check?
Yes, the dental staff can discuss your child’s dental appointment and options available with you.

Where does my child go for dental care if they have disabilities?
There is no change to the dental service provided for children and adolescents with disabilities; they continue to be provided by the permanent dental clinics.

Can I change where my child receives dental care?
Yes, it is possible to change where you receive dental care. Ask your dental staff for help.

My child’s school is on the list for mobile visits. How will I know when the mobile unit is at their school?
The dental staff will contact you by phone, letter or text to advise you of the date and time and where to go for the dental appointments.

Last updated: Tuesday, July 16, 2019

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