Health cardholders who visit a public dentist have a similar level of oral health and receive similar dental care as those who visit a private dentist. This publication presents findings on health cardholders attending for dental care in the private and public sector using data from the National Survey of Adult Oral Health 2004-06. Health cardholders such as age pensioners and the unemployed have government entitlement cards and are eligible for public dental care. But while dental health and care was similar for those using either public or private dentists, this may reflect a general level of disadvantage common to all cardholders. Where differences did exist, the differences consistently involved either poorer oral health status or less desirable service patterns for those who visited the public sector compared to the private sector.