New Zealand Dental Specialist Registration Examinations

If you do not have an prescribed postgraduate specialist qualification, you may be able to sit an examination in your speciality to register in New Zealand. This page describes the process for sitting a dental specialist examination.

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Meeting the eligibility requirements for sitting an examination

To be eligible to sit the examination, you need to meet the requirements of the Dental Council’s New Zealand dental registration examinations policy.

Assessing your eligibility to sit the examination

Before you can sit an examination, we need to assess whether you are eligible.

You can apply by submitting the New Zealand dental registration examination written examination application form.

When we have received your completed application form and all supporting documents we will assess your eligibility to enrol in the specialist examination.

If you are eligible to sit the examination, we will confirm this in writing. We will also contact the Faculty of Dentistry, University of Otago with a request to hold the examination.

Once you have been assessed as eligible to sit the examination in your specialty, it may take some time for the examination to be set. 

Sitting and passing the examination

The examination is made up of five components:

  • a written examination to establish whether you have an adequate understanding of the scientific basis of a specialty and can apply that knowledge to clinical situations
  • case presentations where you submit documentation of a number of specific cases relating to your specialty
  • a clinical examination
  • an oral examination
  • an evaluation of your research skills.

To pass the examination you must pass all five sections.

You have three attempts to sit and pass all components of the specialist examination over three years.

Examination fees

At the time of submitting your assessment of eligibility application, you will be required to pay an assessment fee.

The dental specialist examination fee will be payable once you have been deemed eligible and an examination has been confirmed with the University of Otago. 

Examination Withdrawal Fees

If you cancel your application 40 working days before the examination date, then a partial refund of the fee may be granted on a case-by-case basis for limited circumstances, including medical conditions.

If you cancel inside the 40 working days, you will forfeit your application fee. If there are exceptional circumstances, we will work with you to re-schedule your examination.