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Oral Health Therapy

Seize the opportunity of a lifetime as an Oral Health Therapist in Aotearoa New Zealand!

Live the dream whilst making a difference somewhere different.

Register now

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Abel Tasman 3 Oral Health Therapist Hero

Work as an Oral Health Therapist in New Zealand

Oral Health Therapists have the knowledge, skills and experience to educate and care for patients’ teeth and gums. They work in partnership with local communities to improve services and health outcomes.

We want our team of teams to reflect the diversity of the communities we're working to improve care for, including those that historically have been underserved by the health system.

Aotearoa, New Zealand offers a broad range of opportunities in a range of environments from fast-paced metropolitan centres to community-focused healthcare in urban, rural and remote settings. 

Oral Health Therapists are on Tier 1 of New Zealand's Green List which means you are eligible for a fast-tracked Straight to Residence Visa and can apply for New Zealand residency before you arrive, provided you have a job offer from an accredited employer, like us! 

Register now

Photo location: Nelson - Credit: Miles Holden


Benefits and salary range

  • In New Zealand, the salary and benefits of some roles are determined by collective agreements between unions and employers.
  • The Oral Health Therapists collective agreement can be found on the Health New Zealand - Te Whatu Ora website.

Required Qualifications and experience

To work in Aotearoa New Zealand, you will require an appropriate registration and hold an Annual Practising Certificate:

  • You must be legally entitled to work in New Zealand and be eligible for general or provisional general registration with the Dental Council of New Zealand
  • Dental Council NZ Approved Training Programmes in New Zealand:
    • University of Otago Bachelor of Oral Health and a Dental Council New Zealand accredited Adult restorative programme
    • Auckland University of Technology Bachelor of Health Science in Oral Health and a Dental Council New Zealand accredited Adult restorative programme
    • Graduate Certificate in Dental Therapy (Advanced Clinical Practice), University of Melbourne
Other helpful links  
Begin your career
  • Bachelor of Oral Health from Otago University
  • Bachelor of Health Science in Oral Health from Auckland University of Technology. 

Internationally qualified candidates

  • Crown and Bridge/Prosthodontic Hygienist
  • Orthodontic Hygienist
  • Periodontal Hygienist
  • Community Dental Therapist
  • School Dental Therapist
  • School Dental Nurse

International accredited training programmes


  • Dental Board of Australia-approved programmes that allow graduates registration in the Oral Health Therapist Scope of Practice in Australia. For those Australian programmes where the adult restorative treatment is not accredited as part of the undergraduate programme, a Dental Council New Zealand accredited programme is required to remove the Adult restorative treatment exclusion.
  • New Zealand Oral Health Therapist Registration Examination and a Dental Council New Zealand accredited Adult restorative programme.

Dental Council accredited Adult restorative programme

  • Graduate Certificate in Dental Therapy (Advanced Clinical Practice), University of Melbourne

Roles and responsibilities

  • Understanding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi (The Treaty of Waitangi) and implementing the principles  

  • Engaging with local communities for better health outcomes

  • The practice of Oral Health Therapy is the provision of Oral Health assessment, diagnosis, management, treatment and preventive care for patients in accordance with this scope of practice and an Oral Health Therapist’s approved education, training, experience and competence

  • Oral health education, disease prevention and oral health promotion for individuals and communities are core activities, aimed at achieving and maintaining oral health as an integral part of general health

  • Extra-oral and intra-oral examination of the soft and hard tissues of the orofacial region, including intra-and-extra-oral radiographic imaging of adequate diagnostic quality and photographic imaging

  • Formulate an accurate diagnosis for dental caries and periodontal diseases or seek additional clinical opinion or refer as required

  • Oral Health education

  • Preventative care

  • Periodontal management

  • Direct restorations that are appropriate for the nature and extent of tooth tissue loss and in the best interests of the patient including placing stainless steel crowns on primary teeth

  • Oral disease management including dental caries, non-carious tooth tissue loss, tooth abnormalities and aesthetic problems

  • Dental extractions of deciduous teeth

  • Pulpotomy on primary teeth

  • Local anaesthesia appropriately to treatment

  • Orthodontics - Assist the dentist or dental specialist in implementing orthodontic treatment plans. 

Two Oral Health Therapists sitting on either side of a primary school aged patient for her dental treatment.

Career and Lifestyle Match

Want to know more about our beautiful Districts? Or, are you ready to choose your preferred locations? We can do a lifestyle and career match for you!

Oral Health Therapist educating a young patient about dental hygiene (stock image)

Apply for Registration

As an overseas qualified Oral Health Therapist, you will need to gain registration with the Dental Council of New Zealand and hold an Annual Practicing Certificate. 

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Photo location: Christchurch - Credit: Miles Holden


Explore Aotearoa

Aotearoa New Zealand has been in the top 5 countries in the Global Peace Index every year since it launched in 2009, and has a broad range of places to call home, from the bustling metropolis of our main centres, to the easygoing vibe of our coastal or rural communities.

Find out more information about what part of our beautiful country is the best fit for you.

Te Tai Tokerau

Te Tai Tokerau Northland

Population: 194,600
Northland is a beautiful and diverse region of Aotearoa, New Zealand with plenty to offer visitors. Whether you're interested in water sports, historic sites, natural beauty or ancient Kauri trees—Northland has it all!

Explore Northland



Population: 650,000
Waitematā is the largest and one of the most rapidly growing Districts serving the largest population of all Health New Zealand. Waitematā offers a balanced lifestyle that combines the convenience of city living with the natural beauty and community spirit of suburban life.

Explore Waitematā

Te Toka Tumai Auckland

Te Toka Tumai Auckland

Population: 500,000
Auckland the "City of Sails" is Aotearoa, New Zealand’s largest city and commercial hub. It’s where metropolitan sophistication meets breathtaking natural beauty. Auckland is filled with a variety of warm and welcoming communities, packed with new places to explore.

Explore Auckland

Counties Manukau

Counties Manukau

Population: 500,000
Counties Manukau is a vibrant place where there's never a dull moment! Living and working here ensures you're always close to amenities, events and nature. You'll never run out of places to visit or things to do.

Explore Counties Manukau

Hauora a Toi Bay of Plenty

Hauora a Toi Bay of Plenty

Population: 255,110
The Bay of Plenty is a place of beautiful harbours, long surf beaches and an easygoing lifestyle. We showcase the perfect place to explore a wide range of nature-based pursuits – this gives the people of the Bay of Plenty the chance for a better work-life balance. 

Explore the Bay of Plenty



Population: 425,000
The Waikato region is known for its natural beauty, rich Māori culture, and agricultural heritage with something to offer visitors of all interests.

Explore the Waikato


Tairāwhiti Gisborne

Population: 48,000
In family-friendly Tairāwhiti you will experience an easier pace to life that allows you to pause, reflect, and enjoy a true work-life balance. Gisborne’s relative isolation is its charm, surrounded by beaches & nature - don't worry though! Larger cities are only a quick flight away.

Explore Gisborne



Population: 110,000
The Lakes District is well known for its geothermal activity and natural hot springs. The area is located in the central North Island and is home to many geothermal attractions, such as geysers, hot mud pools, and steam vents. Visitors can also relax in the region's natural hot springs, which are believed to have healing properties. 

Explore the Lakes District



Population: 130,000
Taranaki is a magical place with a majestic mountain at its heart, including the rugged coastline that's world-renowned for its surf. Its residents' love of art and culture, cafes and outdoor living mean it's also fantastic to work—and play!

Explore Taranaki

Te Mataua Maui HawkesBay

Te Matau a Māui Hawke's Bay

Population: 180,000
Known for its world-class wineries, stunning beaches and temperate climate, Hawke’s Bay boasts a lifestyle that is unmatched. The region is a popular destination for food and wine tourism, hiking, cycling and cultural events such as the annual Art Deco festival.

Explore Hawke's Bay



Population: 65,000
Whanganui has something for everyone. Our centrally located region offers access to outdoor activities such as kayaking, skiing, surfing, tramping, cycling, fishing and hunting. Nestled between two snow-capped mountains, on the banks of Whanganui River there is always plenty to do and explore.

Explore Whanganui

Capital Coast and Hutt Valley

Capital, Coast and Hutt Valley

Population: 445,000
Wellington, the capital city of Aotearoa New Zealand, is a bustling and diverse hub of culture and cosmopolitanism, renowned for its lively cafés, restaurants, and internationally acclaimed sporting and cultural events, all set against the stunning backdrop of a natural harbour. To the north of Wellington lie the regions of Porirua, Kapiti, and Hutt Valley.

Explore Capital, Coast & Hutt Valley

Te Pae Hauora o Ruahine o Tararua Mid Central

Te Pae Hauora o Ruahine o Tararua MidCentral

Population: 190,000
Get the best of both worlds - the perfect blend of rural and city living with the mountains, city and sea at your fingertips. 

Explore MidCentral



Population: 48,000
From rugged coastlines, boutique vineyards to lush forests, Wairarapa is a slice of paradise for those who love the outdoors and seek a peaceful environment to recharge after a rewarding day's work. 

Explore the Wairarapa

Nelson Marlborough

Nelson Marlborough

Population: 150,000
Nelson Marlborough has been dubbed the artistic capital with a thriving urban centre and one of New Zealand's sunniest regions.

Explore Nelson Marlborough

Te Tai o Poutini West Coast

Te Tai o Poutini West Coast

Population: 32,000
Te Tai o Poutini West Coast has views of both the mountain ranges and the ocean! It is an untamed natural wilderness of beautiful rivers and rainforests, glaciers and geological treasures.  

Explore the West Coast

Waitaha Canterbury

Waitaha Canterbury

Population: 600,000
The Canterbury region is a great place to live and work due to its natural beauty, vibrant economy, cultural diversity, strong community, and high quality of life.

Explore Canterbury

South Canterbury

South Canterbury

Population: 62,000
The South Canterbury District is an area of stunning beauty with great lifestyle opportunities, a safe and welcoming family-friendly environment, affordable living, excellent educational opportunities and a wide range of cultural and sporting facilities.

Explore South Canterbury



Population: 350,000
Well known for its beautiful natural scenery, which includes towering mountains, stunning fjords, majestic glaciers, and crystal-clear lakes. The region is also famous for its friendly communities, charming towns, and vibrant cities such as Dunedin and Invercargill. 

Explore the Southern District

Our Application Process

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Step 1: Application

Complete & submit your application form for review

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Step 2: Review

Our Candidate Management team reviews your application

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Step 3: Referral

Your profile is referred to your chosen District & employers

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Step 4: Contact

You will be contacted by our District recruitment teams

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Step 5: Handover

Your application moves through employers' hiring processes

Auckland Sea Kayaks - Credit: Miles Holden

How Kiwi Health Jobs works for you

When you apply, you will be redirected to Kiwi Health Jobs, our centralised recruitment portal. The Kiwi Health Jobs team are here to simplify the recruitment process by providing guidance, answering queries and connecting you to the right people in the Districts where you are most interested in working.

Kiwi Health Jobs also advertises a wide range of vacancies across the Health Sector, including vacancies at public, not-for-profit and private employers. 

Photo location: Auckland - Credit: Miles Holden

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Connecting you to locations across NZ that match your lifestyle

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A choice of relocation packages to help you with the move

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Recruitment expertise to assess your career aspirations

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Our Candidate Kaitiaki (guides) ensure the best outcomes for you

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Settlement support when you arrive at your new home in New Zealand

Take the next step

Our dedicated team can offer guidance on visa options for you and your immediate family, discuss relocation packages and offer settlement support once you arrive. The team will ensure you are matched a location based on your experience and lifestyle preferences.

A community dental nurse examining a young patient's teeth on the dentist's chair.

We'd love to help, reach out to us!

Moving to Aotearoa New Zealand is a fantastic opportunity and a big step, we're here for you! Our dedicated team is here to provide guidance and support throughout your journey, so don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.