After your call, a dentist or dental therapist will make contact to determine what treatment is needed and make appropriate arrangements.
The Canterbury DHB’s dental department provides specialist dental care to people in the Canterbury region. Please note: It is also a tertiary referral centre for the West Coast and Nelson and Marlborough regions.
Kids’ and teenagers’ teeth
West Coast DHB funds and provides tooth care services for children and adolescents, including examinations, x-rays, fillings and extractions.
Child dental care: Free for children 12 months old up until school Year 8. Provided through community and mobile clinics.
Adolescent dental care: Free for teens from Year 9 until 18 years old. Mostly provided by private dentists and paid for by West Coast DHB. Mobile clinics provide this service in rural areas.
Hospital dental services: Free for children needing dental treatment under general anaesthetic. Requires referral through the child dental service.
Kids younger than 5 get free regular check-ups and treatment. This service includes fluoride varnishes to protect teeth at risk of decay.
We encourage parents, guardians and whānau to enrol their children for regular dental care. Get a registration form by contacting us directly, or talking to your Well Child Tamariki Ora provider.
Dental therapists provide free check-ups to primary and intermediate-aged school children through community and mobile clinics. If your child needs more advanced dental work, the therapist will refer them to a private dentist.
This service is provided during school terms. When schools are closed you can contact a dentist directly.
Most teenagers are eligible for free dental care until their 18th birthday – regardless of whether you are at school, working, or unemployed.
You can choose a dentist from the list below, or you can stay with the dental therapist you saw at primary or intermediate school. This can be useful for people who have to travel a long way to see a dentist.
West Coast dentists and dental therapists providing free care for adolescents