Scope of practice for dental technicians

This page lists the scope of practice for dental technology.

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 dental technology


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

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

It involves processes and procedures associated with the design, manufacture and repair of fixed and removable oral and extraoral appliances and prostheses prescribed by a practising dental specialist, dentist, clinical dental technician, medical practitioner or other practising health practitioner.

The working relationship between 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 dental technology

The Dental Council defines the practice of 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 dental specialist, dentist, clinical dental technician, medical practitioner or other practising health practitioner.

This involves:

  • selection of appropriate dental materials for the design, manufacture and repair of fixed and removable oral and extraoral appliances and prostheses prescribed by a practising dental specialist, dentist, clinical dental technician, medical practitioner or other practising health practitioner.
  • processes and procedures associated with the design, manufacture and repair of:
    • complete removable dentures and overdentures.
    • removable partial dentures including precision attachments.
    • fixed and removable orthodontic appliances.
    • crowns and bridges including precision attachments on natural teeth and implants.
    • implant overdentures and implant supported dentures.
    • tissue and implant supported maxillofacial, ocular and auricular appliances and prostheses, and other appliances and prostheses involved in the overall prosthetic rehabilitation of patients.
    • specialist treatment appliances such as, but not limited to: diagnostic stents and radiographic stents, appliances for the treatment of temporomandibular disorders, appliances for the treatment of speech disorders, appliances for the treatment of sleep disorders and appliances for the treatment of audio disorders.
    • undertake shade taking and shade checking, which may include the removal of a preloosened temporary restoration and try-in of the permanent restoration, without removal or placement of an abutment, as prescribed by and prior to the final fitting1 by a dentist or dental specialist.

Practice in this context goes wider than dental technology to include teaching, research, and management, given that such roles influence clinical and technical practice and public safety. Areas of dental technology practice that were not included in a practitioner’s training should not be undertaken unless the practitioner has completed appropriate training and practices to the standard required by the relevant practice standard.

1 Final fitting for dental technicians means ensuring the patient returns to the prescribing dentist /dental specialist as soon as possible on the same day for the refitting of the temporary or permanent restoration.

Prescribed qualifications for the dental technology scope of practice.