Dental Planet, with the fantastic support of Te Whatu Ora and Hauraki Primary Health Organisation, were privileged to bring free dental treatment to the Thames community earlier this month.


In the first round of many planned free dental care events in the Hauraki region, we were overwhelmed with interest from the Thames community. This came as no surprise, with one of the biggest contributing factors to declining oral health in New Zealand being the cost of regular treatment. The majority of those we treated had not been to the dentist for at least five years. One couple saying they have not sat in the chair for over 15 years. There were various reasons given but mainly it was financial, transport and shame.

The free dental treatment initiative allowed Dental Planet to put care in reach of the Thames community. Not only to keep teeth clean, but to help those suffering with pain – 57% of those we treated were in pain and discomfort.


“Since I was 6 years old, I have had an infection in my upper gums, which has continued to rot my top teeth into adulthood. I feel fear and shame. I haven’t gone to WINZ because the workers are local, and it is EMBARRASING! I am so thankful to hear about this service, because my only other option was to save up, and eventually go overseas. It is going to take me too long to save up, and my teeth are just going to get worse!”


What we acheived

Working with Te Whatu Ora and MSD through Hauraki PHO, we managed to provide free dental care to over 50 people.

The work was conducted over 10 working days utilising 2 of our mobile dental units manned by a dentist and an oral health technician.

112 fillings completed

32 tooth extractions completed

49 instances of gum disease identified and treated

Check out the infographics below for more details, and feel free to share.









The public response to our free dental treatment work has been truly amazing. Everyone working on the ground was overwhelmed with the amount of gratitude they received. We even had home-made cookies delivered as a thank you from one of our happy patients.

“I think this initiative is amazing and will help so many people who really needs dental care, and appreciate what you are doing. Even if I don’t get seen this is still amazing mahi you are contributing so thank you.”

“Just want to acknowledge the team for making it possible for our community and wider in making this possible for myself along with many others to access a service that caters to Dental health.”

“I’m just out of school and haven’t got much money saved up so this was an amazing service.”

“Over exceeded my expectations, the dentist and assistant was very gentle and lovely made me feel at ease.”

While Round 1 of this initiative can be viewed as an overwhelming success, there is still mahi to do. Dental Planet intend to continue working with local funding bodies to arrange more treatment initiatives like this one. With Round 2 planned for April 15-29 at Te Whare Kura o Manaia.

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