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Combined Dental Agreement


The Combined Dental Agreement

DHBs use the Combined Dental Agreement (CDA) to contract oral health providers to deliver:

  • Oral Health Services to Adolescents (OHSA) for adolescents (under 18 years old)
  • Special Dental Services (SDS) for children (younger than adolescents).

Contractors agree to provide services under the OHSA, SDS or both.

The CDA is reviewed every three years, over which time we support all 20 DHBs nationwide. It is used to contract around 900 providers.

The last review of the Combined Dental Agreement took place in 2019. Variations to the CDA are made annually in between review years and, accordingly, a variation to the agreement was made in 2020, with another variation scheduled for 2021. 

TAS supports DHBs by providing project management and analytical services to the governance group that oversees:

  • publicly-funded oral health services for adolescents
  • specialist dental services for children and adolescents.

Combined Dental Agreement 2021 [386kb]  

1 July 2021

Operational Guidelines for Combined Dental Agreement 2021 [612kb]  

1 July 2021


Review of the Combined Dental Agreement

The CDA underwent a substantial review in 2019. The three-year agreement is due to expire on 30 June 2022 and will require a review to ensure it best meets the needs of patients, contract holders, and DHBs.

The review will cover the contents of the current CDA, for example it will recommend improvements to current clauses. This is so:

  • service coverage is improved
  • expert clinical advice on whether the treatment contained in the package of care remains good practice and appropriate for adolescent oral health care, is sought
  • contract holders, approving dental officers, oral health portfolio managers and sector operations find it simpler to use.

Input will be sought from:

  • DHBs via Oral Health Portfolio Managers and Approving Dental Officers
  • the New Zealand Dental Association
  • the Ministry of Health’s Oral Health team
  • contract holders.

The next CDA and Operational Guideline review will be implemented on 1 July 2022.


Who leads the Review?

The Oral Health Group (OHG) leads the review of the CDA on behalf of the 20 DHB General Managers Planning and Funding (GMs P&F).

The OHG was formed in 2004 and its purpose is to:

  • provide recommendations to DHB GMs P&F on changes to the CDA and its associated guidelines
  • receive, comment on and provide policy advice to the sector.

TAS provides project management and secretariat support to the OHG. Current OHG members are listed below.

The Oral Health Group members

  • Emma Foster, Chair, and General Manager Planning & Funding representative
  • Dr Geoff Hunt and Dr Donna Kennedy, DHB clinical representatives
  • Deepa Hughes, Portfolio Manager – Northern DHB region
  • Bridget Lester, Portfolio Manager – South Island DHBs

DHB Approving Dental Officers, Regional Portfolio Manager representatives, the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the New Zealand Dental Association (NZDA) are consulted on the changes. 


Next review of the Combined Dental Agreement

Feedback will be sought for the next review of the CDA, which is due to expire at the end of 2022. The feedback will be considered by the National Oral Health Working Group. We will advise on the review timeframe and deadline date for submissions once these have been confirmed. 

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Last updated: 13/7/21