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HealthInfo West Coast-Te Tai Poutini

Dental care for teenagers

Dental care is free for teenagers until their 18th birthday. This service is provided by contracted dentists, and it's available to all teenagers under 18, whether or not they are at school, doing a course, working, or unemployed. When your child is in year 8, you need to complete a transfer form to choose a dentist for this care. The free school dental service provides this form. If your child is not enrolled with a dentist during year 8, they can enrol at any time before their 18th birthday by getting in touch with a dentist who provides the free service.

The free service entitles your teenager to a check-up once every 12 months and most treatments (such as fillings) are also free. As not all dentists provide free dental care, it's important to check before you make an appointment.

Teenagers with special needs may be eligible for dental care through the Hospital Dental Service, check with your general practice team.

Once you turn 18, you must pay for your dental care check-ups through a private dentist.

You can find out more information about oral health services on the West Coast DHB website. The page includes a list of dentists who are contracted to provide free dental care to teenagers under the age of 18.

Information provided by the Canterbury DHB. Adapted by the West Coast DHB. Page created August 2015.

See also:

Eligibility of children for free dental care

Page reference: 196170

Review key: HIDCC-49010