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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Dental care for adults

Te ratonga niho mō ngā pakeke

While dental care in New Zealand is free for anyone under 18 years old, after your 18th birthday you must pay for your own dental check-ups and treatment by seeing a private dentist.

You can find a private dentist on the Dental Council of New Zealand's website.

If you or a whānau (family) member have a serious dental problem after hours or on the weekend, you may need to contact an after-hours dentist.

There are some options available for cheaper dental care. You can find details on Subsidised dental care for adults on low incomes.

Tips for getting the most out of your dental care

Seeing a dentist for regular check-ups can save you money and trouble, and will help to keep your teeth looking good and working well.


If your teeth are damaged as result of an accident, see your normal dentist or an after-hours dentist. ACC will pay for part of the treatment for teeth damaged in accidents but you may have to pay some of the cost. Phone ACC on 0800-101-996, email them or see ACC dental injury for more information.

On the next page: Subsidised dental care for adults on low incomes

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed March 2022.

Page reference: 49015

Review key: HIDCC-49010