Oral health

Tamariki and rangatahi in Tairāwhiti receive free basic oral health services from birth until the childs 18th birthday.


Our Service provides oral health care to tamariki from birth to year 8 and is delivered by our Dental/Oral Health Therapist's and Dental Assistant's at our fixed clinic, Wahaora Dental Clinic and in our mobile dental trucks and out in the community.

  • We take enrolments from birth
  • We like to see tamariki for their first appointment between 5 months to 9 months of age
  • Tamariki receive oral health care either at our Wahaora Dental clinic or a mobile dental truck based on where they live
  • Tamariki attend our clinic/mobile dental truck along with a parent/caregiver until they attend Primary School
  • Once tamariki are enrolled at a Primary/Intermediate School, they will be seen by our mobile dental truck onsite at the school
  • When tamariki are in Year 8, parents advise which dental practice they would like their tamariki transferred to for oral health care and we inform the dental practice
  • From Year 9 up to their 18th birthday, Rangatahi are cared for by our private dentists in the community

How to enrol

  • Your midwife or Well Child/Tamariki Ora or Plunket nurse can help you complete the enrolment form
  • Your GP practice can assist you in getting your tamariki enrolled
  • You can visit the Wahaora Dental Clinic and the team can help you complete the enrolment form
  • If your tamariki is a pre-schooler or at primary school, forms are provided and can be completed and returned to the school or to the Wahaora Dental Clinic
  • If you’re relocating to Gisborne, you can call 0800 TALK TEETH (0800 825 583)


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 can be through Tūranga Health and/or Midwives.

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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