Free Teen Dentistry

You can look after your oral health throughout your early childhood for free. The good news is that it doesn't stop there! Many of our practices offer Free Teen Dentistry all the way through their high school years.

It’s important to take care of your oral health from a young age. Embedding those habits during the teenage years is crucial to a long life of optimum oral health. That’s why we offer free teen dentistry services to take care of New Zealand's teenagers’ teeth. Free Teen Dentistry services apply for children from Year 9 in high school, all the way up until their 18th birthday.

Taking care of your teeth and mouth at a young age helps to detect problems and prevent future problems from occurring.

Please note there are some exclusions, and braces, or orthodontic treatment is not included.

What is it?

All students entering high school in Year 9, and up until their 18th birthday, are eligible to receive free basic dental treatment.

We have contracted dentists that can provide this service along with our Lumino Mobile Dental Clinic bus units that visits 29 colleges in the Auckland area.

Free Teen Dentistry services include examinations, x-rays (if needed), preventative treatment such as fluoride applications and fissure sealants, root canals, fillings, extractions (not including orthodontic extractions), oral health education and restorative treatment.

Who can use it

New Zealand high school students entering Year 9, up until their 18th birthday, are eligible for free basic dental treatment at participating practices.

Until the day before their 18th birthday, each teenager is still eligible for Free Teen Dentistry, regardless of whether they are by then in the workforce, or studying at school or university. However they are not eligible for free orthodontic treatment.

Have questions?

From Year 9 until their 18th birthday, all children regardless of whether they are working or studying are eligible for free teen dentistry. Dental check ups can be an anxious time for some, making sure children receive their regular check-ups eliminates the fear of the unknown.

Children in New Zealand are entitled to one free check up per calendar year. If there is another problem like a toothache during the year, they are able to make another free appointment, where the tooth ache will be assessed.

When children under 18 see a dental therapist they can expect, an examination of their mouth, scaling, removal of staining, plaque and tartar when required, oral health education and orthodontic referrals if required. If any orthodontic treatment is required this is not free.

Not all practices offer free teen dentistry. The practice must have an adolescent contract with the District Health Board. Lumino has over 120 dental practices nationwide and over 80 practices that offer the Free Adolescent Dentistry.

Parents of over 13-year-olds have a choice of where they would like their child to attend their dental checks. It is a good idea to chat to your child regarding this as some like the ease of a mobile unit that visits their college, where others like to attend a clinic where they can take a parent/caregiver or support person.

View Lumino mobile serviced schools

Our Mobile Buses aren't available at all schools. Please see the list of schools the buses currently visit here. We have four Mobile Buses operating. Mobile 1, 2 & 3 Buses are Auckland based. Mobile 1 covers Central, Central-West, and Central-east. Mobile 2 covers Northshore and Mobile 3 covers Central, West, Northshore and Rural areas. Mobile 4 is based in the Waikato region. 

Terms & Conditions

Children in New Zealand who meet the  eligibility criteria for publicly funded health services are entitled to free basic oral health services from birth to 17 years of age. Free Teen Dentistry at Lumino is available to students entering Year 9, up until their 18th birthday. Once they hit 18 years old, dentistry is no longer free in New Zealand.

Free Teen Dentistry is not available at all our practices. The practice must have an adolescent contract with the District Health Board to offer Free Teen Dentistry. Check with your preferred practice when booking an appointment to make sure they do offer Free Teen Dentistry.

Children will usually visit a Dental Therapist. In New Zealand a Dental Therapist works exclusively with under 18-year-olds. Dental Therapists either work for a DHB or in a private practice.

Standard dental treatments are free and include the following:

  • routine examination to check teeth for decay and look at the gums and mouth for any problems

  • X-rays used to find tooth decay and other problems that can’t be seen

  • fluoride treatment, which helps make the surface of the teeth more resistant to decay

  • fissure sealants, which are a thin layer of white filling, painted onto teeth that are at risk of developing tooth decay

  • cleaning to plaque, staining and tartar from teeth

  • fillings to restore teeth that have been affected by tooth decay

  • extractions to remove teeth that have been badly affected by tooth decay

Free teen dentistry does not cover orthodontic treatment.