Northlanders may be able to secure a healthier smile at no cost this month thanks to a free dental scheme.
The Smile NZ Free Dental Days programme has proven to be a great success in Mangawhai this year, according to one practice.
The scheme allows dentists to open their practices to provide a range of treatments such as restorations, fillings, and extractions at no charge to patients who ordinarily cannot afford to access treatment.
The initiative is a joint venture between the Southern Cross Health Trust and the New Zealand Dental Association (NZDA).
One of the 39 practices across the country participating this year is Mangawhai Dental, said dentist Dr Ellen Clark.
"The greatest reward is seeing what a tremendous difference the treatment makes to low-income adults who, in some cases, have been in tremendous pain as a result of putting off dental work, often for several years," said Clark.
Patients also receive oral health education and a free hygiene pack so they can maintain the health of their teeth after the procedure.
"It's tremendous knowing that over 700 people will receive no-charge dental treatment through Smile NZ Free Dental Days this year," said Clark.
The Southern Cross Health Trust funds dental practices for the use of premises, equipment and dental assistants.
Clark said her Northland practice joined 60 other NZDA member dentists who are donating their time for the scheme.
This year will also mark Gentle Dental Ruakākā's third year of being involved with the scheme.
To book an appointment, patients must have a Community Services Card number.