Prescribed qualifications for dental therapists

Prescribed qualifications are the qualifications prescribed for a scope of practice under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003.

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The Dental Council has prescribed the following qualifications for the dental therapy scopes of practice.

New Zealand


  • Bachelor of Oral Health, University of Otago before 1 November 2017
  • Bachelor of Health Science in Oral Health, Auckland University of Technology before 1 November 2017
  • Certificate in Dental Therapy or Certificate in Dental Nursing (issued by the Department of Health or a New Zealand educational institution) and approved experience in the provision of dental therapy services within the scope of dental therapy practice (including interpreting periapical and bitewing radiographs under the direction and supervision of a dentist who can attest to competency) and evidence of successful completion of Dental Council approved courses for Pulpotomies and Stainless Steel Crowns and Radiography and Diagnostic Radiography (or an exemption certificate for radiography issued by the New Zealand Medical Radiation Technologists Board (MRTB) current as at 18 September 2004)
  • Diploma in Dental Therapy (issued by a New Zealand educational institution) and approved experience in the provision of dental therapy services within the scope of dental therapy practice (including interpreting periapical and bitewing radiographs under the direction and supervision of a dentist who can attest to competency) and evidence of successful completion of Dental Council approved courses for Pulpotomies and Stainless Steel Crowns and Radiography and Diagnostic Radiography (excluding a Diploma in Dental Therapy issued by University of Otago or an exemption certificate for radiography issued by the New Zealand Medical Radiation Technologists Board (MRTB) current as at 18 September 2004)
  • Bachelor of Health Science (Endorsement in Dental Therapy), University of Otago
  • Undergraduate dental therapy degree or diploma, or an undergraduate dental degree, and a pass in the Dental Council Dental Therapy Registration Examination. 

Australia


  • an Australian Dental Council accredited programme1 that included education in Pulpotomies, Stainless Steel Crowns, Radiography and Diagnostic Radiography and registration in Australia
  • a Dental Board of Australia approved programme of study providing a qualification for the purposes of registration in dental therapy in Australia2 that included education in Pulpotomies, Stainless Steel Crowns, Radiography and Diagnostic Radiography and registration in Australia.

1 Before 30 June 2010, and before 17 October 2010 for Western Australia
2 From 1 July 2010 onwards, and 18 October 2010 onwards for Western Australia

Prescribed qualifications for registration in the additional scope of adult care in dental therapy practice


The Dental Council has defined the following list of prescribed qualifications for additional scope of adult care in dental therapy practice, which would allow registration in the additional scope of adult care in New Zealand. 

Prescribed qualifications for practising under clinical guidance:

  • Certificate in Dental Therapy (issued by the Department of Health or a New Zealand educational institution); registration in the Scope of General Dental Therapy practice and a Dental Council accredited qualification in adult dental therapy practice. Currently no training programmes have been accredited
  • Diploma in Dental Therapy (issued by a New Zealand educational institution); registration in the Scope of General Dental Therapy practice and a Dental Council accredited qualification in adult dental therapy practice
  • Bachelor of Health Science (Endorsement in Dental Therapy), University of Otago; registration in the Scope of General Dental Therapy practice and a Dental Council accredited qualification in adult dental therapy practice
  • Bachelor of Health Science in Oral Health, Auckland University of Technology; registration in the Scope of General Dental Therapy practice and a Dental Council accredited qualification in adult dental therapy practice
  • Bachelor of Oral Health, University of Otago; registration in the Scope of General Dental Therapy Practice and a Dental Council accredited qualification in adult dental therapy practice

For applications received before 19 September 2004

  • Certificate in Dental Therapy (issued by the Department of Health or a New Zealand educational institution); registration in the Scope of General Dental Therapy Practice and approved experience in the provision of oral healthcare to adults under the direction and supervision of a dentist, who can attest to competency
  • Diploma in Dental Therapy (issued by a New Zealand educational institution); registration in the Scope of General Dental Therapy Practice and approved experience in the provision of oral healthcare to adults under the direction and supervision of a dentist, who can attest to competency
  • Bachelor of Health Science (Endorsement in Dental Therapy), University of Otago; registration in the Scope of General Dental Therapy practice and approved experience in the provision of oral healthcare to adults under direction and supervision of a dentist, who can attest to competency

Prescribed qualifications for practising under direct clinical supervision:

Currently no training programmes have been accredited.