Scopes of practice for clinical dental technicians

This page lists the scopes of practice for clinical dental technology.

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The Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (the Act) describes a scope of practice as the health service that a practitioner registered in that scope of practice is permitted to perform, subject to any conditions for the time being imposed by the responsible authority.

The Council publishes a scope of practice as a Notice in the New Zealand Gazette under section 11 of the Act.

Scope of practice for clinical dental technology


The Scope of Practice for Clinical Dental Technicians is set out in the documented “Detailed Scope for Clinical Dental Technology Practice” produced and published from time to time by the Dental Council.

Clinical Dental Technology practice is a subset of the practice of dentistry, and is commensurate with a Clinical Dental Technician's approved education, training and competence.

It involves the scope of practice for Dental Technology, plus the fitting of complete removable dentures and the fitting of some other types of removable dentures and oral and extraoral appliances under specific conditions – as set out in the detailed scope of practice.

The working relationship between clinical dental technicians and prescribing practising health practitioners is set out in the Dental Council Practice Standard – The Practice of Dental Technology and Clinical Dental Technology and the working relationship within the Practice of Dentistry.

Detailed scope of practice for clinical dental technology practice

The Dental Council defines the practice of clinical dental technology as:

  • processes and procedures associated with the design, manufacture and repair of fixed and removable oral and extraoral appliances and prostheses prescribed by a practising dentist, dental specialist, medical practitioner or other authorised health practitioner as set out in the detailed scope for dental technology practice.
  • taking impressions and undertaking other non-invasive clinical procedures involved in the fitting of removable complete dentures and the fitting of some other types of removable dentures and oral and extraoral appliances under specific conditions as set out below and as described below.
  • taking impressions and undertaking other non-invasive clinical procedures involved in the trial fitting and repair of removable complete and partial implant overdentures prescribed and the final fitting1 by a dentist or dental specialist.

As well as the activities delineated in the detailed scope for dental technology practice, clinical dental technology practice involves:

  • taking impressions and undertaking other non-invasive clinical procedures involved in the fitting and relining of removable complete dentures when there are no natural teeth remaining and there is no diseased or unhealed hard or soft tissue.
  • taking impressions and undertaking other non-invasive clinical procedures involved in the fitting and relining of removable partial dentures subject to the patient having obtained an oral health certificate from a dentist or dental specialist.
  • taking impressions and undertaking other non-invasive clinical procedures involved in the construction of removable complete and partial immediate dentures on the prescription of, and prior to the fitting by a dentist or dental specialist.
  • taking impressions, relining and undertaking other non-invasive clinical procedures involved in the construction of removable complete and partial root/tooth overdentures subject to the patient having obtained an oral health certificate from and on the prescription of a dentist or dental specialist, and prior to the final fitting1 by a dentist or dental specialist
  • processes and procedures associated with extraoral maxillofacial prostheses, for those with formal training or if they can demonstrate that they have the requisite knowledge and training to undertake this work2:
    • Taking impressions and undertaking other non-invasive clinical procedures involved in the fitting, construction and repair of extraoral maxillofacial prostheses, that are not in direct communication with the naso- or the orophayngeal airway under the prescription of a dentist, dental specialist or medical practitioner, who remains responsible for the clinical outcomes of the patient.
    • Taking impressions of maxillofacial defects that are in direct communication with the naso- or the orophayngeal airway, for those clinical dental technicians with formal training or if they can demonstrate that they have the requisite knowledge and training to undertake this work, and only under the direct clinical supervision of a dentist, dental specialist or medical practitioner qualified to manage an airway emergency, who remains responsible for the clinical outcomes of the patient.
    • taking impressions and undertaking other non-invasive clinical procedures involved in the construction of removable complete and partial implant overdentures on the prescription of, and prior to the final fitting1 by a dentist or dental specialist. This does not include removal or placement of abutments such as healing, temporary or permanent, or fixture level/subgingival impression copings.
    • repairing and/or relining of removable complete and partial implant overdentures on the prescription of and prior to the final fit1 by a dentist or dental specialist and appropriate referral when indicated.
    • designing, constructing, repairing and supplying appliances for the treatment of sleep disorders only on the prescription of a registered dentist, dental specialist or medical practitioner.
    • taking impressions and undertaking other non-invasive procedures involved in the construction of an anti-snoring device, however, only a dentist, dental specialist or medical practitioner, who retains responsibility for the clinical care outcomes, can perform the final fit1 of the appliance.
    • in relation to the above activities:
      • Obtaining medical and dental histories and consulting with other health practitioners as appropriate.
      • Examination of the oral tissues to ensure that the patient’s mouth is fit for purpose and free of disease, disorder or abnormality.
      • Referral of patients to a dentist, dental specialist or medical practitioner when any disease, disorder or abnormality is detected.
      • Referral of patients to a dentist, dental specialist or medical practitioner for a prescription for an oral health certificate and treatment plan where required.
      • Preparation of a treatment plan (in association with a prescription if required) and communicating this to the patient.
      • Oral health education and promotion.

1 Final fitting for clinical dental technicians means ensuring the patient is referred back to the prescribing dentist/dental specialist for the subsequent management and ongoing monitoring of that patient’s oral health.

2 Practitioners should demonstrate that they have the requisite knowledge and training to undertake extraoral maxillofacial prostheses work in accordance with the Council’s Policy on Advanced and New Areas of Practice.

Practice in this context goes wider than clinical dental technology to include teaching, research, and management, given that such roles influence clinical and technical practice and public safety.

Areas of clinical dental technology practice which were not included in a practitioner’s training should not be undertaken unless the practitioner has completed appropriate training and practises to the standard required by the Dental Council Policy on Advanced Areas of Practice and the Practice Standard - The Practice of Dental Technology and Clinical Dental Technology and the working relationship within the Practice of Dentistry.

Scope of practice for implant overdentures 


The Scope for Implant Overdentures in Clinical Dental Technology Practice is set out in the documented “Detailed Scope for Implant Overdentures” produced and published from time to time by the Dental Council.

The scope involves clinical procedures associated with the design, manufacture, trial fitting and repair of removable complete and partial implant overdentures prescribed and fitted by a practising dentist or dental specialist.

Detailed scope of practice for implant overdentures

As well as the activities delineated in the detailed scopes for dental technology and clinical dental technology practice, the additional scope for implant overdenture practice includes:

  • taking impressions and undertaking other non-invasive clinical procedures involved in the construction of removable complete and partial implant overdentures on the prescription of, and prior to the final fitting1 by, a dentist or dental specialist.
  • repairing removable complete and partial implant overdentures prescribed and fitted by a dentist or dental specialist and appropriate referral when indicated.
  • relining removable complete and partial implant overdentures on the prescription of, and prior to the final fitting by a dentist or dental specialist1.

1 Final fitting for clinical dental technicians means ensuring the patient is referred back to the prescribing dentist/dental specialist for the subsequent management and ongoing monitoring of that patient’s oral health.

Prescribed qualifications for the clinical dental technology scope of practice.