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HealthInfo Canterbury

Subsidised dental care for adults on low incomes

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

Urgent care

A dental emergency is defined as mouth pain, swelling or an infection that's bad enough to cause you significant disruption.

Relief of Pain Clinic at the Hospital Dental Service

This is available Monday to Friday between 8 am and 5 pm at the Relief of Pain Clinic at the Hospital Dental Service for all New Zealand residents over the age of 65 and those on a WINZ benefit. Treatment is subsidised and costs up to $45 an appointment. To book an appointment, phone (03) 364-0250. You can refer yourself to this clinic, you don't have to see your GP. The Hospital Dental Service is at 2 Oxford Terrace.

Subsidised urgent care from a private dentist

Some private dentists have a contract with Canterbury DHB to provide subsidised urgent care for people who have a Community Services Card. To be eligible for subsidised emergency treatment, you must live in Canterbury or the West Coast and have a current Community Services Card.

Emergency dental care is a one-off treatment of the problem. If you need further dental care, you'll have to pay the dentist’s usual fees for this.

Participating dental practices allow for a 30-minute visit. During this time, a dentist will assess the problem and provide any necessary dental treatment.

If the dentist decides the condition doesn't meet the definition of a dental emergency, they'll 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, Christchurch

(03) 337-4596

Darfield Dental

42 South Tce, Darfield

(03) 318-8392

Dentistry on Parkside

80 Park St, Ashburton

(03) 308-7472

G&E Dental


369 Main South Rd, Hornby, Christchurch



52 Charles St, Rangiora

66 Rolleston Dr, Rolleston

Chertsey Rd, Methven

Halswell Dental

284 Halswell Rd, Halswell, Christchurch

(03) 322-9577

Hornby Dental

5 Tower St, Hornby, Christchurch

(03) 349-5059

Hoon Hay Dental Surgery

14 Lincoln Rd, Spreydon, Christchurch

(03) 338-4712

Linwood Dental Centre

211 Linwood Ave, Linwood, Christchurch

(03) 389-9730

Redwood Family Dentists

186 Main North Rd, Redwood, Christchurch

(03) 352-6186

Richmond Dental

45 North Avon Rd, Richmond, Christchurch

(03) 389-5923

Peter Van Kuijk

129 Williams St, Kaiapoi

(03) 327-7199

WINZ emergency grant

WINZ beneficiaries can apply for an emergency grant of up to $300 to pay for urgent dental care with any dentist. Talk to the dentist about applying for the grant before you start treatment.


ACC will contribute towards the cost of treatment for teeth damaged in accidents. Phone 0800-101-996 for more information.

Non-urgent care

Hospital Dental Service

You can ask a health professional to refer you to the Hospital Dental Service if you're a WINZ beneficiary and you need all your teeth taken out or all your top teeth or bottom teeth taken out.

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.

UCSA dental scheme

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

Charity Hospital

WINZ beneficiaries in Christchurch who've used up their emergency grants for dental care can get a free, single course of treatment at the Canterbury Charity Hospital. You must be referred by a dentist.

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Page created October 2018. Last updated March 2020.

Page reference: 500725

Review key: HIDCC-49010