The standard of dental treatment available in New Zealand is similar to that available in other developed western economies.
All school children in New Zealand are entitled to free basic dental treatment. Most schools are visited by dentists who carry out the work during school hours. The free services include: dental examinations, fillings, extraction of primary teeth, placement of fissure sealants and applications of fluorides. As soon as your children leave school they must pay for their own dental treatment.
Most adults are required to pay the full cost of treatment. There’s no fixed scale of charges, so it pays to shop around. Some city-dwellers even go outside the cities for treatment, driving half-an-hour or an hour to smaller towns where treatment can sometimes be cheaper.
The following table should give you a feel for the sort of prices charged in Auckland, Christchurch or Wellington. Auckland dentists tend to be a bit more expensive on average than those in other regions.
|Check up with scale/polish||$94 – $140|
|Check up with x-rays and scale/polish||$120 – $179|
|Amalgam filling (one surface)||$125 – $180|
|Amalgam filling (two surfaces)||$175 – $230|
|Composite filling (molar)||$210 – $280|
|Extraction||$189 – $250|
|Porcelain Veneer||$1,100 – $1,490|
|Composite Crown||$310 – $450|
|Porcelain Fused Metal Crown||$1,205 – $1,500|
|Molar Root Filling||$990 – $1,300|
|Single Tooth Implant||$2,500 – $3,000|
Some dentists include a scale and polish in the check-up. Others employ hygienists who charge you separately. We’d recommend that you find a dentist who cleans your teeth as part of the check-up as this works out much cheaper. In New Zealand it is recommended that you have a check-up at least once a year.
If your teeth are damaged in an accident your treatment will be heavily subsidised through the government’s accident compensation scheme, ACC.
Adults in receipt of government social benefits get emergency treatment free of charge but this is usually limited to removal of teeth.