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Brought to you by Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora – Southern and WellSouth primary health network

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Eligibility for Adult Dental Services

For the most part, adults have to pay for dental services. There is a limited range of dental services that are funded for some adults.

You may be eligible for publicly provided dental services if you:

  • have a disability or medical condition such as mouth cancer. If so, you may be referred to a hospital for your dental treatment by your usual dental practitioner or GP.
  • are on a full benefit from Work & Income (i.e., not only a study, accommodation or childcare payment), have a community services card and require emergency dental care, such as pain relief or extractions.

If these services are provided by your hospital or dentists contracted by Te Whatu Ora Southern, you may still need to pay some of the treatment cost.

If you require emergency care in Otago, but cannot afford to be treated privately, you can be referred to the University of Otago Dental School which can provide you with the care you need at a subsidised rate.

If you require emergency care in Southland, but cannot afford to be treated privately, you can be referred to the Southland Hospital Dental Service which can provide a relief of pain service at a subsidised rate.

To find out more, please contact:
Otago: 0800 672 543 
Southland: 0800 570 300

In other situations, Work and Income may be able to help pay for dental treatment with a private dentist if you’re on a low income. More information can be found on their website. Dental treatment - Work and Income