Dentistry>

Dental support staff

Dental Assistants:

Assist dentists with patient care such as keeping the patient’s mouth clear by using a suction machine, passing instruments and materials to the dentist as required and developing x-rays. No qualifications are required.


As with dentists and dental specialists, all of the following support staff must be registered with the Dental Council of New Zealand (DCNZ) and have an annual practising certificate in order to practise.


Dental Therapists:

Provide routine dental care and oral health education to children and adolescents under the government funded oral health benefit programme. Dental therapists are able to take dental x-rays and extract primary (first) teeth. View their qualification requirements on the Dental Council of New Zealand website.


Dental Hygienists:

Dentists will often refer their patients to their dental hygienist. The dental hygienist provides professional cleans and may whiten teeth. They treat gum disease and educate people so they take care of their teeth and gums and prevent oral disease. View their qualification requirements on the Dental Council of New Zealand website.


Dental Technicians:

Create and repair devices involved in the treatment, replacement and protection of damaged, badly aligned or missing teeth. View their qualification requirements on the Dental Council of New Zealand website.


Clinical Dental Technicians:

Similar to dental technicians, they create and repair devices involved in the treatment, replacement and protection of damaged, badly aligned or missing teeth and are also qualified to work with the general public. View their qualification requirements on the Dental Council of New Zealand website.


Orthodontic Auxiliaries:

Assist orthodontists with patient care. Their role is similar to a dental assistant but with more responsibilities. View their qualifications on the Dental Council of New Zealand website.