Prescribed qualifications for dental specialists

The Dental Council has defined the following list of prescribed qualifications for the dental specialist scopes of practice.

Prescribed qualifications for registration as a dental specialist


Endodontic Specialists

  • MDS (Endodontics) University of Otago;
  • DClinDent (Endodontics) University of Otago;
  • an ADC accredited MDS or MDSc or DClinDent programme in endodontics1;
  • a Dental Board of Australia approved programme of study providing a qualification for the purposes of specialist registration in endodontics in Australia2; or
  • two years or more of full-time equivalent postgraduate training in the specialty at a recognised tertiary academic institution or equivalent, evidence of research activity and a pass in the New Zealand Endodontic Specialist Examination.

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

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Specialists

  • MDS/MBChB (Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery) University of Otago;
  • DClinDent (Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery) University of Otago3;
  • an ADC accredited MDS or MDSc or DClinDent programme in oral and maxillofacial surgery1, and a medical degree from a medical school listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools4;
  • a Dental Board of Australia approved programme of study providing a qualification for the purposes of specialist registration in oral and maxillofacial surgery in Australia2, and a medical degree from a medical school listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools;
  • Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons (Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery)5;
  • registration in oral and maxillofacial surgery with the General Medical Council, United Kingdom;
  • board certification in oral and maxillofacial surgery in a United States of America or Canadian state and possession of a medical degree from a medical school listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools and dental degree; or
  • two years or more of full-time equivalent postgraduate training in the specialty at a recognised tertiary academic institution or equivalent, evidence of research activity and a pass in the New Zealand Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Specialist Examination.

3 Entry criteria require completed undergraduate dentistry and medical degrees

4 WHO World Directory of Medical Schools replaced by Avicenna since August 2008; and the Faimer IMED Directory signed an agreement in March 2012 with WFME's Avicenna Directory to collaborate in single directory - World Directory of Medical Schools 

5 Conferred from 15 March 2012

Oral Medicine Specialists

  • MDS/MBChB (Oral Medicine) University of Otago;
  • DClinDent (Oral Medicine) University of Otago and a medical degree from a medical school listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools6;
  • an ADC accredited MDS or MDSc or DClinDent programme in Oral Medicine1 and a medical degree from a medical school listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools;
  • a Dental Board of Australia approved programme of study providing a qualification for the purposes of specialist registration in oral medicine in Australia2, and a medical degree from a medical school listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools; or
  • two years or more of full-time equivalent postgraduate training in the specialty at a recognised tertiary academic institution or equivalent; evidence of research activity and a pass in the New Zealand Oral Medicine Specialist Examination.

6 Conferred from 2013

 Oral Pathology Specialists

  • MDS (Oral Pathology) University of Otago;
  • DClinDent (Oral Pathology) University of Otago;
  • an ADC accredited MDS or MDSc or DClinDent programme in oral pathology1;
  • a Dental Board of Australia approved programme of study providing a qualification for the purposes of specialist registration in oral pathology in Australia2;
  • Fellowship in Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology from the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia7; or
  • two years or more of full-time equivalent postgraduate training in the specialty at a recognised tertiary academic institution or equivalent, evidence of research activity and a pass in the New Zealand Oral Pathology Specialist Examination.

7 Conferred from 2016

Oral Surgery Specialists

  • DClinDent (Oral Surgery) University of Otago8; or
  • specialist registration as an oral surgeon with the Dental Council New Zealand as at 18 September 2004.

8 Conferred from 2016

Orthodontic Specialists

  • MDS (Orthodontics) University of Otago;
  • DClinDent (Orthodontics) University of Otago;
  • an ADC accredited MDS or MDSc or DClinDent programme in orthodontics1;
  • a Dental Board of Australia approved programme of study providing a qualification for the purposes of specialist registration in orthodontics in Australia2; or
  • two years or more of full-time equivalent postgraduate training in the specialty at a recognised tertiary academic institution or equivalent, evidence of research activity and a pass in the New Zealand Orthodontic Specialist Examination.

Paediatric Dentistry Specialists

  • MDS (Paediatric Dentistry) University of Otago;
  • DClinDent (Paediatric Dentistry) University of Otago;
  • an ADC accredited MDS or MDSc or DClinDent programme in paediatric dentistry1;
  • a Dental Board of Australia approved programme of study providing a qualification for the purposes of specialist registration in paediatric dentistry in Australia2; or
  • two years or more of full-time equivalent postgraduate training in the specialty at a recognised tertiary academic institution or equivalent, evidence of research activity and a pass in the New Zealand Paediatric Dentistry Specialist Examination.

Periodontic Specialists

  • MDS (Periodontics) University of Otago
  • DClinDent (Periodontics) University of Otago;
  • an ADC accredited MDS or MDSc or DClinDent programme in periodontics1;
  • a Dental Board of Australia approved programme of study providing a qualification for the purposes of specialist registration in periodontics in Australia2; or
  • two years or more of full-time equivalent postgraduate training in the specialty at a recognised tertiary academic institution or equivalent, evidence of research activity and a pass in the New Zealand Periodontic Specialist Examination.

Prosthodontic Specialists

  • MDS (Prosthodontics) University of Otago;
  • DClinDent (Prosthodontics) University of Otago;
  • an ADC accredited MDS or MDSc or DClinDent programme in prosthodontics1;
  • a Dental Board of Australia approved programme of study providing a qualification for the purposes of specialist registration in prosthodontics in Australia2;
  • Certificate in Prosthodontics from a three-year programme CDA accredited dental school in the USA or Canada and evidence of research activity; or
  • two years or more of full-time equivalent postgraduate training in the specialty at a recognised tertiary academic institution or equivalent, evidence of research activity and a pass in the New Zealand Prosthodontic Specialist Examination

Public Health Dentistry (or Community Dentistry) Specialists

  • MComDent University of Otago;
  • an ADC accredited MDS or MDSc programme in Public Health Dentistry1;
  • a Dental Board of Australia approved programme of study providing a qualification for the purposes of specialist registration in public health in Australia2; or
  • two years or more of full-time equivalent postgraduate training in the specialty at a recognised tertiary academic institution or equivalent, evidence of research activity and a pass in the New Zealand Public Health Dentistry Specialist Examination

Restorative Dentistry Specialists

  • Specialist registration as a Restorative Dentist with the Dental Council New Zealand as at 18 September 2004

Special Needs Dentistry Specialists

  • MDS (Special Needs) University of Otago; or
  • DClinDent (Special Needs) University of Otago;
  • an ADC accredited MDS or MDSc programme in Special Needs Dentistry1;
  • a Dental Board of Australia approved programme of study providing a qualification for the purposes of specialist registration in special needs dentistry in Australia2; or
  • two years or more of full-time equivalent postgraduate training in the specialty at a recognised tertiary academic institution or equivalent, evidence of research activity and a pass in the New Zealand Special Needs Dentistry Specialist Examination

Is your qualification not on the list?

If your postgraduate qualification is not a prescribed qualification, use the following assessment tool to guide you on a possible registration pathway(s) for you.