A west Auckland practice is offering free dental work to 100 patients to help them through Christmas.
Dr Scott Waghorn, of Ngapuhi and Ngati Raukawa descent, heads Dentalcare West in the suburb of Glen Eden.
He said it had been offering the free dental day for the last three years, for those who had been putting off dental work because of the cost.
The first 100 patients to arrive from 8am today would be given a filling or extraction, for no fee.
Dr Waghorn said despite Government support and subsidies, people still lived in chronic dental pain, because of the cost, especially at an expensive time like Christmas.
The latest annual Health Survey results showed the number of children who had teeth removed due to decay, an abscess, infection or gum disease in the past year has risen from 3.6 to 4.1 percent. For Maori tamariki, the rate was 5 percent.