Oral health

Children in Tairāwhiti receive free basic oral health services from birth to 17 years of age (until their 18th birthday).

• Enrol your child as early as possible, so that you can arrange the first check-up.
• Your child’s first visit will usually be between 5 months of age to 9 months of age.

How to enrol

It’s easy to enrol – just call 0800 TALK TEETH (0800 825 583).

We’ll guide you through it and send you the right forms for you to fill in.
• Your midwife or Well Child/Tamariki Ora Nurse/Plunket would assist you with the enrolment process
• Your GP practice will also assist you in getting your child enrolled.
• If your child is a pre-schooler or at primary school, fill in the forms and post them to your local oral health service.
• If your child is older(Year 8 or above), they’ll see a dentist in the community. All private practices in Tairawhiti are signed up to provide free basic dental care to teenagers.


Arish Naresh – Director of Allied Health/Team Leader Oral Health
Dr David Edgar – Principal Dental Officer
Dr Nitish Surathu – Community Dentist
Dr Zoon Kang – Community Dentist


In this table you will find the oral services available depending on age:


   Publicly Funded Services   

     Referral Process 

0-9 months(Dental Care During Pregnancy)

Hapu Mama Oranga Niho Service: a service that exists for expectant mothers who meet the criteria.

Referral is through Turanga Health.

Birth to 4 years age

Your child is likely to be first seen at Wahaora Dental Clinic located next to Illminster School unless you live in Western Rural and East Coast Areas(services delivered using mobiles)

Referral can be through GPs, Well Child Nurses, Midwives or people can self refer.

5 years to 13 years of age

Children/Teenagers are provided with their dental checks at their school using a mobile dental van or at a fixed clinic. NO treatment is provided without seeking consent from parents/caregivers

No referal required

13 Years to 18th birthday

Free Basic Dental Care is provided by private dentists.

Self-referral is accepted by practices.

18 plus

DHB Led Services:A small number of people who are over 18 and suffer from Rheumatic fever are provided free basic care by the DHB. 

Other Services:There are two private practices that provide dental care at reduced prices to holders of Community Services Card.

Referral is through Well Child Services



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