Smile NZ Free Dental Day with Southern Cross Health Trust

Launched in 2015 with the help of the Southern Cross Health Trust, this annual event provides free dental care to low income adults who desperately need treatment but can’t afford it.

The nationwide initiative is organised by the NZ Dental Association, with dozens of dentists each year volunteering their time. The Southern Cross Health Trust compensates dental practices for the use of their premises, equipment, and dental assistants.

People with a Community Services Card who have an urgent dental problem are eligible for a 30 to 40-minute appointment for a single dental treatment, including fillings, restorations, extractions, fluoride applications or pain relief. They also receive oral health education and a free hygiene pack.

Since the initiative began, thousands of Kiwis have received hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of treatment from 200 dentists.

Dr Kavendra Naidoo and assistant Jessica Hunt

“To be able to volunteer is an excellent way to get to know all types of people. It brings our team together as well because it’s rewarding to help others.”

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