'It's just plain wrong': Patrick Gower's pleads Government to fund free dentistry in New Zealand

Patrick Gower has an urgent plea for the Government to provide affordable dental care to Kiwis.

After a man removed his own tooth with a power drill, Mr Gower demanded Government-funded dentistry for New Zealanders on Monday evening's episode of The Project.

Addressing Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister David Clark directly, he stressed that time is of the essence.

"Call it free, call it comprehensive, call it affordable, this has to happen now. Every indicator has said for years that we need more help in this area," he said.

"If you are the 'Government of kindness', if you're aimed at wellbeing, get in there and help the dental system. Stop sitting on your hands, and set up an emergency fund and get the care for people that need it."

On Monday, Waitemata DHB called for free dental services for all New Zealanders. Their request was then scaled back to "comprehensive" dental service, but Public Health dentistry specialist Jonathon Broadbent says this won't solve the problem.

On Monday evening's episode of The Project, Mr Broadbent spoke to Mr Gower about the rising cost of dental care.

According to Mr Broadbent, the average filling has risen in price from $50 in the 1990s, to $250 today.

Despite this, Mr Broadbent says making dental care free would be the "ambulance at the bottom of the cliff,"

"We also need the fence at the top [of the cliff], which would be an attack of sugar-sweetened drinks and stricter regulation for advertising unhealthy foods."