How much do dental services cost in New Zealand

How much do dental services cost in New Zealand?

For children and adults, dental services are essential for maintaining a high standard of oral hygiene.  Unfortunately for the latter group, common dental services are not a part of New Zealand’s public health care system

Because of this, it can be tough to gauge how much you may end up spending on dental services in general.  So, to make thing’s a bit easier we’ll walk you through the cost of basic dental procedures and provide you with some helpful resources pertaining to dental care.

Outlining Dental Costs

Outlining Dental Costs

Dental Exam

Dental examinations are usually conducted annually to determine a patient’s level of oral hygiene.  Most dentists will also use dental examinations to figure out what kind of treatment a patient needs.

At around $90 per examination, an initial consultation can already make a decent dent in your daily budget.  Add to this the fact that some dentists will request x-rays and you may even end up paying more.

Basic Cleaning

Dental cleaning is perhaps the most basic service available to patients.  With most cleaning sessions taking less than an hour, patients can be in and out of a dental clinic in roughly the same amount of time as a standard work lunch break.

Sadly, this service is also the most overlooked dental treatment due to the fact that it is so expensive.  While children and teens are entitled to annual dental cleanings, adults without a health care policy must pay for these appointments out-of-pocket.

On average, a 45-minute cleaning appointment will cost a whopping $115, which is enough to buy you 4 lunches and a brew at your local pub.  

This makes it easy to see why so many Kiwis decide to put off the annual recommended trip to their local dentist.


Dental fillings are also a common dental procedure overlooked by most Kiwis despite the apparent need for them.  Generally, a dental filling will cost $160 or more depending on the specific substance used for the filling.

Naturally, composite fillings will cost significantly less than their silver or gold counterparts.  But, with this slightly more affordable price tag, you also receive a shorter filling lifespan of 5 to 7 years compared to the typical 15-30 years attributed to silver and gold fillings.

Tooth Extractions

Ironically enough, dental extractions are considerably easier to complete compared to dental fillings.  But despite this, they are still significantly more expensive with the average tooth extraction coming in at $180.  

The reason behind this difference in cost is the labor associated with extracting a tooth.  Compared to filling an empty cavity, extracting a tooth can sometimes require the use of anesthesia and scalpels which significantly drives up dental costs. 

As a means of reducing the considerably high cost of dental care in New Zealand, many Kiwis seek the help of an insurance broker to secure dental insurance.  These policies will often cover private dental services in exchange for a much more affordable monthly premium. 

Now that we’ve covered the basic costs associated with dental care, you should have a better grasp of just how expensive oral health care can be.  We certainly hope that this article and the resources within will be of use to you if you’re ever pondering the cost of dental treatment.