Pathway 1 to register as an orthodontic auxiliary

To complete pathway 1, you need to first hold a qualification in dental therapy, dental hygiene or dentistry. You need to follow the three steps described below before you can apply for registration.

Criteria to be eligible to apply for registration under pathway 1

To register using pathway 1, you need:

  1. a Graduate Certificate of Orthodontic Assisting, Academy of Orthodontic Assisting
  2. a qualification in dental therapy, dental hygiene or dentistry
  3. experience in the provision of orthodontic auxiliary services under the direction and supervision of a dentist or dental specialist who can attest to competency.

Step 1: Work under a Council-approved supervisor

The Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 allows people engaged in a course of training or instruction that has been prescribed for registration purposes to practise while not yet registered.

This allows prospective orthodontic auxiliary trainees to carry out supervised orthodontic auxiliary duties while completing their training, before they apply for registration.

The supervised orthodontic auxiliary duties must be overseen by a registered dentist or dental specialist (supervisor) who holds a current annual practising certificate. The supervisor must:

  • be onsite at all times to advise, guide, monitor, participate or intervene in all procedures carried out by the trainee
  • make sure that patients are aware that the person providing the orthodontic auxiliary care is under training
  • make sure the patient consents to receiving care from the trainee. All patients need to complete the consent form patient consent for orthodontic care by trainee.  

If a supervisor has any concerns about a trainee’s competence to practise orthodontic auxiliary duties, they must immediately inform the Dental Council. The supervisor must also stop the training while waiting for the Council’s response.

Applying for a supervisor to be approved

Council must approve the supervisor before you can perform any clinical activities.

You must apply for your supervisor to be approved by submitting a supervised activities as trainee application form.

When we have approved the supervisor, we will tell you and your supervisor, and issue a supervision protocol.

Step 2: Obtain the Qualification

Once you have a Council-approved supervisor, you can enrol in the Graduate Certificate of Orthodontic Assisting. This qualification consists of two parts:

  1. successfully completing all the online modules, and
  2. successfully completing the two-day clinical programme, currently run by the New Zealand Association of Orthodontists (NZAO) in New Zealand.

Enrolling in the online modules

The online modules are offered by Trapezio (previously known as Academy of Orthodontic Assisting).

Go to the Trapezio website for more information on the Certificate of Orthodontic Assisting. 

Enrolling in the two-day clinical programme

Once you have successfully completed all the online modules, and received formal notification of this from Trapezio, you can enrol in the two-day clinical programme by contacting NZAO.  

Step 3: Apply to be registered

You can apply for registration once you have:

  • obtained the Graduate Certificate of Orthodontic Assisting
  • satisfied the supervisor of your competency in all the clinical tasks within the scope of practice for an orthodontic auxiliary.

The supervisor needs to attest to your competence in writing to the Dental Council. You will then be eligible to apply for registration.

You can start your application process by using our online tool to assess which registration pathways are available for you. 

When you complete the self assessment and select your registration pathway, you will be directed to provide the information we need to create your online account. 

We will then send you an email with a link and instructions for activating your online account.

You will need to submit certified copies of some supporting documents with your registration application. Refer to our guides for supporting documents you may need to submit and certifying your documents.

When you apply for registration, we will ask you about your practising intentions – that is, whether you intend to:

  • practise in New Zealand and apply for an annual practising certificate (APC)
  • not practise immediately but want your name retained on the register.

You will be asked to pay your registration fee at the time you complete your application for registration. If your registration application is successful, we will email you with an invoice to pay for your annual practising or non-practising fees

Please note you can only lawfully practise in New Zealand if you hold a current APC.

If we do not receive valid documents to complete your application, it will be withdrawn and an administration fee may be deducted. You will then need to resubmit your application.