Community Dental Service

​​The Community Dental Service provides free oral health services for all eligible children residing in the Canterbury and South Canterbury District Health Board areas, as well as co-ordination of adolescent oral health access and health promotion phone 0800 846 983 or email

See Hospital Dental Service for information about other specialist hospital dental services.

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Who is eligible for free dental care?

If you are new to Canterbury and call to enrol your child with the CDS you will be asked for a National Health Index  number,  or for information which will enable us to find your child on the National register.

It is important if you are not a New Zealand Citizen that you know if you are eligible for publicly funded health and disability services in New Zealand. To check if you are eligible go to

When you call to enrol your child you may be asked for proof of your eligibility.  If you haven't provided this previously please scan and email your child's  passport and parent's visa documents, or citizenship certificate to

Services for children 0 -Year 8

Children's dental services are provided through check-ups in schools and check-ups and treatment at purpose-built community dental clinics. 

Services for adolescents - FREE dental care until your 18th birthday!

Our goal is to improve oral health amongst adolescents.  This service is provided by dentists and is free until you turn 18 years of age.

The Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) has contracts with a number of private dental providers in the community to provide FREE dental care to adolescents until their 18th birthday. If you enrol with one of the selected practices you are entitled to: a FREE check up every 12 months and most treatments (such as fillings) are FREE of charge. The service does not cover orthodontic work and tooth whitening!

Enrolling with a dentist

Year 8 students

Year 8 students will be asked to choose a dentist when attending their last school-based check up. The Community Dental Team will then pass on dental information to the chosen dentist. 

For any questions please call 0800-TALK TEETH (0800 825 583). Please click on the links below to find a dentist.

Christchurch Dental Providers
Canterbury Dental Providers
South Canterbury Dental Providers


Useful Links

Ministry of Health - Oral Health
Healthy Smiles
Dentistry at Otago University
Wish for a smile - Orthodontists



Secondary School Resource Booklets are avaliable by contacting the Community Dental Service.
Community and Public Health​​

Where are we?

Find the nearest community clinic on our Community Dental Clinic Location page.

Visit HealthInfo for more information

Community Dental Service
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Page last reviewed: 03 May 2017
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For a full list of the convenient ways that you can contact us, refer to the Contact Us page