Work as a Dental professional in NZ

There are two requirements to work as a Dental professional in NZ.

  1. To work as a Dentist, Hygienist, Oral Health Therapist, Dental Therapist in New Zealand you are required to obtain your registration from the Dental Council of New Zealand and have a current Annual Practising Certificate.
  2. You will also need a valid New Zealand visa to be allowed to work here.

Your Dental registration can be obtained in one of the following ways:

Registration Method 1: Prescribed Qualification

  • The Dental Council of New Zealand recognises overseas qualifications to be equivalent to New Zealand qualifications. 
  • You can view the prescribed qualification for your specific profession here.

Please refer to the Dental Council of New Zealand website for more information. 

Registration Method 2: Individual Assessment

  • Registration as a Dentist in the General Dental Scope of Practice holding a non-prescribed undergraduate dental degree, you can seek an individual assessment. If you consider that special circumstances exist in respect of your qualifications, training and experience such that the Council may consider them equivalent to a prescribed qualification you may submit an application for individual assessment. In addition, you are required to provide three professional references and pass an accredited English test.

The Dental Council will consider an assessment application on an individual basis. If the Council is satisfied that the combination of your qualifications, training and experience is, in fact, equivalent to a prescribed qualification you will be issued with an eligibility letter, stating that you are eligible to apply for registration. 

The Council will only approve registration in such circumstances where it is satisfied that the combination of your qualifications, training and experience is, in fact, equivalent to a prescribed qualification. 

In some circumstances the Council may require a 6-12 month mentoring programme from your employer.

For further details please refer to the Dental Council of New Zealand website.

Registration Method 3: New Zealand Dental Registration Examination

  • Where the Council is not satisfied that equivalence exists it will require you to sit and pass the New Zealand Dental Registration Examinations (NZDREX) before registration is granted.

For further details please refer to the Dental Council of New Zealand website.

Timing allowance

The visa process can take 10 weeks at the minimum. So if you are looking at coming to New Zealand and have a set date in mind, then ensure this is at least 3 – 6 months after you’ve lodged your application for registration.