Open a PDF version to print this topic

HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Subsidised dental care for adults on low incomes

Pūtea tāpiri mō te manaakitanga ā-niho mā ngā pakeke he iti noa te pūtea

This page summarises the options available for adults who need lower-cost dental care.

Work and Income (WINZ) emergency grant

If you're on a low income or benefit, you can apply for up to $1,000 a year (any 52-week period) to help pay for immediate and essential dental treatment. You do not have to pay this back.

This is income and asset tested and has other eligibility requirements. See Work and Income – Dental treatment for details.

Talk to your dentist about applying for the grant before you start the treatment.

Subsidised urgent care from a private dentist

Some private dentists have a contract with Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand Waitaha Canterbury to provide subsidised urgent care. To be eligible for subsidised urgent treatment, you must live in Canterbury or the West Coast and have a current Community Services Card.

Participating dental practices allow for a 30-minute visit. During this time, a dentist will assess your problem and provide any necessary dental treatment. If you need further treatment, you'll have to pay the dentist's usual fees for this.

If the dentist decides the condition doesn't meet the definition of a dental emergency, they will charge their usual fees.

You'll have to pay a co-payment of up to $40 for a visit under this scheme.

Participating dental practices

Practice name


Phone number

Colombo Street Dental

201 Colombo St, Sydenham

(03) 337-4596

Dentistry on Parkside

80 Park St, Ashburton

(03) 308-7472

Halswell Dental

284 Halswell Rd, Halswell

(03) 322-9577

Hornby Dental – Dr Daniel Chan

5 Tower St, Hornby

(03) 349-5059

Hoon Hay Dental Surgery

14A Lincoln Rd, Spreydon

(03) 338-9101

Kaikōura Dental Centre

6A West End, Kaikōura

(03) 319-5629

Redwood Family Dentists

186 Main North Rd, Redwood

(03) 352-6186

Richmond Dental

45 North Avon Rd, Richmond

(03) 389-5923

Dr Peter Van Kuijk

129 Williams St, Kaiapoi

(03) 327-7199

ACC treatment

If your teeth are damaged as a 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.

Relief of Pain Clinic at the Hospital Dental Service

Treatment for urgent dental problems is available for all New Zealand residents over the age of 65 and those on a Work and Income (WINZ) benefit.

You can refer yourself to this clinic, so you do not have to see your general practice team to get a referral. To book an appointment, phone (03) 364-0250. Appointments are available on Monday to Friday between 8 am and 5 pm.

The treatment is subsidised and costs up to $45 an appointment.

Hospital Dental Service

If you're a Work and Income beneficiary and you need all your teeth taken out or all your top teeth or bottom teeth taken out, you can ask a health professional to refer you to the Hospital Dental Service.

The service also provides subsidised care for adults with special needs or very complex medical problems that mean they can’t get dental care in the community.

University of Canterbury Student Association dental scheme

Students at the University of Canterbury can access the University of Canterbury Student Association’s subsidised dental scheme.

Charity Hospital

Work and Income (WINZ) beneficiaries living in Christchurch who have used up their funding for dental treatment are eligible for a free single course of treatment at the Canterbury Charity Hospital. You must be referred by a dentist, who will be able to decide if you qualify for this service.

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed March 2022.

Page reference: 500725

Review key: HIDCC-49010