Some Tauranga residents will be able to give their pearly whites the top treatment with a free dental care initiative coming to the city.

Smile NZ, in collaboration with the Southern Cross Health Trust and New Zealand Dental Association, runs the initiative once a year across the country to provide two weeks of free dental procedures this month.

Dentists will open their practices for a range of common complaints including fillings, restorations and extractions, fluoride applications and pain relief.

This year there are two clinics participating in both Tauranga and Pāpāmoa, providing treatment between September 12 and 19.


Appointments are open to Community Service Card holders by booking in advance, with all available spots now filled for 2019.

Southern Cross Health Trust chief executive Terry Moore said appointments for Smile NZ had filled up already, showing the high level of demand for dental care among low-income adults.

Fifty-eight New Zealand Dental Association (NZDA) member dentists from 40 clinics around the country will treat around 800 people free-of-charge this month.

New Zealand Dental Association chief executive David Crum said it was wonderful to see so many dentists donating their time.

"From eliminating pain to making it easier to eat and to speak clearly, dental care makes a big difference to people's lives."

Patients also receive oral health education and a free hygiene pack.