Thousands of children with tooth decay are facing long, and often painful, waits for treatment.
In Auckland alone, the number of children waiting to see a specialist or to have surgery for mostly serious dental problems has grown to two thousand seven hundred 2700.
And in many parts of the country, they're having to wait several months before receiving treatment.
Dentists say that as a result, many children are having teeth pulled that could've otherwise been saved.
Dr Riana Clarke is the Ministry of Health's National Clinical Director of Oral Health.
She talks to Corin Dann.