What's it like to be a Dentist?
A Dentist examines and assesses patients to identify and treat dental problems such as decay, disease and injury. They can replace missing teeth with implants, bridges, or dentures, and improve the look of teeth with veneers and crowns. They also advise clients on preventative care, and where appropriate, refer patients to specialists such as oral surgeons, prosthodontists, and orthodontists. Some Dentists may offer professional cleaning, while others may employ a hygienist.
Tasks and duties
- Performing oral health assessments and examinations to diagnose conditions.
- Developing treatment plans for patients.
- Undertaking clinical treatments to restore, remove, fix, replace, realign and resolve issues with teeth, jaws and mouths.
- Administering and monitoring local anaesthetics while performing procedures.
- Prescribing medications for pain or infection.
- Providing preventative advice.
How to become a Dentist
To become a Dentist you will need to complete a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) and gain accreditation.
Complete a Bachelor of Dental Surgery. To enrol in this programme, you will need to complete the first year of a health sciences degree or have already completed an undergraduate degree.
Register with the Dental Council Te Kaunihera Tiaki Niho to gain an annual practising certificate. To do so you must have passed a prescribed qualification or sit the New Zealand Dentist Registration Examination.
Gain annual recertification with the Dental Council.
Complete further courses of study or continuing professional development to specialise.