Work as Dentist in New Zealand – Dentistry In New Zealand

In this article, I will explain the basic details of working as a dentist in New Zealand who has done their graduation in dentistry outside New Zealand.

Many dentists in developing countries are looking for better options after BDS abroad. I would say that if you are looking for career growth in dentistry, then it is a myth that you have to go abroad and work to earn and settle.

I know many dentists who earn a six to seven-figure income. Many are into teaching, clinical, clinical research, and much more.

I think this might help all the dentists and students who want to work and settle as a dentist abroad. I will provide the basic knowledge about the procedures, and I would recommend you to stay updated on the official website, too. There are many work opportunities in New Zealand for general and specialist dentists. 

Work in New Zealand as dentist

Why Work as a Dentist in New Zealand?

New Zealand is a country situated near the Pacific Ocean’s southwestern part with two main islands. Beautiful glaciers and volcanoes surround these islands. The capital of New Zealand is Wellington which comes on the north island.

newzealand awesome place

New Zealand is a country with a nice public and very good financial stability. The second reason is why people from developing countries migrate to New Zealand to earn and settle. Take the example of dentists in India. A dentist in India charges Rs.2500 for a root canal treatment, and in New Zealand, dentists charge $830 for the incisors and $830-$930 for premolars, and about $1200 for molars. Just calculate now:

1 NZ Dollar = Rs.50 Approximate

RCT Charge for Incisor = 830×50 = Rs.41,500

So, you can think of the economic stability and income of a dentist. The income of a dentist in New Zealand is fifteen times more than a dentist in India. The majority of the people want to migrate to the US, UK, and Canada mainly, and now you can include New Zealand to your list. Read the pros of working as a dentist in New Zealand below:

  • Great scope for dentists and is more economical than in countries like the US and the UK.
  • In foreign countries, dentists are one of the highest-paid people.
  • Very good respect in society abroad. etc

But, you should keep in mind that migrating from one country to another is not that easy, especially in the healthcare sector. There are a lot of things you should re-think before migrating. If you are very good in English, speak English in their accent, and have the ability to adjust to climatic and cultural variations, then you are good to go. If you clear the exams you can easily find jobs in New Zealand as a dentist.

These are the basic things I mentioned. Now, the most important thing is to clear their exams, which is the hard part. Their exam rules and patterns are strict comparatively. For exam clearance and success as a dentist abroad need skills and a lot of luck too. 😛

Basics: Exam to Work as a Dentist in New Zealand for Foreigners

A dental degree from a foreign country is not valid in New Zealand. So, you have to clear an exam to register with the Dental Council of New Zealand. The exam is known as the New Zealand Dentist Registration Exam or NZDREX.

things before new zealand dental exam

I will tell you their rules and basics in simple language, as the information provided on the official website is a little bit confusing. If you want to apply and register as an oral dental practitioner(Dentist) under the HPC Assurance Act 2003, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be fit for registration(Of course, you should be)
  • You must surely have a prescribed qualification.(Keep this in mind; I will tell you what is prescribed qualification is below)
  • If you don’t have a prescribed qualification, then you should have an equivalent qualification with the same standards, which are satisfactory.
  • You must be competent to work within the scope of practice.

So now, let me tell you what is prescribed qualification is:

It’s simple: it’s a qualification that has gone through some formal accreditation to check the standards and quality of the dental council or any other jurisdiction that the New Zealand Dental Council recognizes. And prescribed qualification is for two sections, one for dentists and the other for dental specialists. These qualifications are gazetted and are always monitored for quality.

Prescribed Qualification for Dentists

New Zealand:

  • Bachelor of Dental Surgery from the University of Otago.
  • Bachelor of Dental Surgery with Honours from the University of Otago.
  • A 5-year undergraduate dental degree and a pass in the NZDREX.


  • Australian Dental Council (ADC) accredited undergraduate dental degree from an ADC-approved dental college in Australia.
  • A 5-year undergraduate dental degree and a pass in the ADC Registering Exam.

USA or Canada:

  • Commission on Dental Accreditation or CDA-approved undergraduate dental degree from a CDA-accredited dental college in the USA or Canada.
  • Five-year undergraduate dental degree and a pass in the USA registering examinations.

General Dental Council Approved Dental Colleges in UK and Commonwealth Countries:

  • Western Cape
  • Hong Kong
  • Singapore
  • Witwatersrand
  • Pretoria
  • Stellenbosch
  • Medical University of South Africa
  • Malaysia

If you are from the above-listed countries and qualified from these dental schools, then you will be able to work in New Zealand as a Dentist very Easily.

Don’t have a prescribed qualification? You still have two options left:

Ok dear friends, now I will tell you the other two options you can o for to work as a dentist in New Zealand. You have two options:

  • You can apply for an exam to qualify and work as a dentist in New Zealand.
  • Or else you can apply to have your overseas training and experience approved.

Examination Option:

Registering as a Dentist(General Dentist):

  • If you want to register and work as a dentist without the prescribed qualification, then you should apply and clear the New Zealand Dentist Registration Examination.
  • There will be two phases of examination: the written phase and the clinical phase. You should pass the written part to sit for the clinical part.

Registering as a Dental Specialist(Dentist in Speciality):

  • If you want to work as a dental specialist then you should clear the New Zealand Dental Specialist Registration Examination.
  • This exam includes a written phase, clinical phase, case presentation session, oral examination phase, and research skill examination.

There are two exams and keep that strictly in mind. Because both exam names are similar, it’s a bit confusing to recognize. It is for qualifying as a general dentist and a specialist dentist.

Eligibility for the Examination:

To apply and write the exam, you have to meet the following criteria:

  • You must have an appropriate dental degree from a recognized tertiary institution.
  • You must be able to speak and understand English to a level to protect the health and safety of the public.
  • You must be registered as an oral health practitioner(Dentist) under a recognized board of dental council of the area. You must provide the registration certificate for proof.
  • You must provide a certificate of conduct or character from the schools and colleges of the past seven years. The certificate must not be older than three months of the application and should be provided with the application.
  • You must be eligible for fitness to satisfy under the Health Practitioners Competency Assurance Act 2003.
  • You must not exceed three times to clear the examination to pass both the written and clinical parts.

Additional Eligibility for the Examination:

You must also meet the following criteria for the clinical examination to work as a dentist in New Zealand:

  • You must pass the current written examination or else we must have exempted you from the written examination.
  • You must provide an original typed medical lab report of Hepatitis C, AIDS serological status, evidence of hepatitis B immunity and HBV serological status.

Note: The serological report must not be older than three months. The only exception is when you provide any evidence of hepatitis B immunity in which it clearly says the absence of surface antigen with a surface antibody of greater than or equal to 10 IU/L will be accepted.

Fitness Requirement for Registration:

Section 16 of the Health Practitioners Competency Assurance Act 2003 states that you are not able to register to work as a dentist in New Zealand :

  • If you are not able to satisfy the council, that can communicate effectively.
  • If you are not able to satisfy the council you can speak and understand English well enough to protect the health and safety of the public.
  • If you have been convicted of an offense punishable by more than three months of imprisonment and that adversely reflects you are not fit to practice.
  • If you have a mental or physical condition that prevents you from performing the functions required for the practice.
  • If you face professional disciplinary proceedings that reflect your fitness to practice.
  • If you are subject to an order of the disciplinary tribunal, an educational institution or authority. and that adversely reflects the fitness for practice.
  • If we have a thought or reason we may endanger the health and safety of the public.

Submit your overseas training and experience to be assessed:

If you don’t have a prescribed qualification and you think that your qualification, training, and experience is equivalent to the prescribed qualification, then you can apply for an individual assessment to work as a dentist in New Zealand.

Documents and Proof you Have to provide:

You must provide your information about qualifications, training, and experience since graduating. You also have to provide proof of continuing professional development. Other evidence you have to provide is your fitness, good character, health, and efficiency to communicate in English. The information includes certificates of good standing and referee reports.

This link gives you exact information on what to submit to work as a dentist in New Zealand.

Procedure to certify your documents:

To apply and sit for the examination you should provide many documents with the application. All the identification documents should be certified and verified by the same gazetted or authorized person.

Documents to be included:

  • Passport Size Photos
  • Identification Document Copies
  • Identity Verification Documents
  • Statutory Declaration part of the form

The certifying person should be authorized by the law where you live to administer an oath of judicial proceedings. We will list down who can be referred to an authorized person:

Authorized person to certify in New Zealand:

  • A barrister who is enrolled and a solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand.
  • Justice of peace
  • Public Notary
  • Court or deputy Registrar
  • Member of Parliament

Authorized person to certify in Commonwealth countries:

  • Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand
  • Justice of peace
  • Notary public
  • Judge
  • Commissioner of Oaths
  • Commonwealth representative
  • Any other authorized person of your country who administers an oath there for judicial proceedings

Authorized person to certify in non-commonwealth countries:

  • Solicitor of the High Court of New Zeland
  • Judge
  • Public Notary
  • Commonwealth representative

You should get your documents translated if it is in any language other than English. Check the link below to redirect to the official website and work as a dentist in New Zealand.

NZ Official Dental Council Website Link


This post gives you a basic outline of the procedure, benefits, exam type, and fees to work as a dentist in New Zealand. These may change with time and I would recommend you be updated on their official site.

If I get any more updates on this subject, I will surely post them here. If you found this post about working as a dentist in New Zealand useful, I would love you to share this with your friends, and this might help them, too.

If you are interested, then you can go through my detailed post about working in Canada as a dentist, too.

4.6/5 - (39 votes)
About K Vishnu Nambiar

I am a dental blogger and a career counselor with more than 10 years of experience in the industry. I blog about different dental courses and their scopes. I also visit dental colleges and review them in a unique way.

13 thoughts on “Work as Dentist in New Zealand – Dentistry In New Zealand”

  1. Sir, I have some questions about dentistry in Canada…

    1) the word “standard met” in the flowchart refers what ? I don’t understand what it means? I have even checked the official ndeb

    2) What will be degree offered to me , when I have successfully cleared my ndeb certification process?

  2. I am working on getting registered to work in New Zealand I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW THE EXPENSES INCURRED to write the qualifying exam and get the registration I am BDS with 6 years working experience in mission hospitals
    Looking forward to hearing from you Thank you.

    • I had given the fees for the procedure in this post. You can also re-check the official website for detailed fees.

  3. My daughter is getting BDS certification from Maharashta this year. I would like to send her to New Zealand I am giving my name and email Id to get details

    • Dear Mr.Varghese,

      Thank you for the comment on the blog. Noted the details and I will send you a detailed e-mail regarding the same.

    • Dear Husna,

      The detailed procedure for applying in New Zealand is given above. Apart from that I will also send a detailed guide on the the process and fee structure.

  4. Hi,

    I am 2011 passout.

    What’s the chances of getting our certificates assessed for NZ AND TO be able to practice in NZ….


    • Dear Basima,

      I had sent the complete details to your email ID. Every single procedure for working as a dentist in New Zealand.

      • Sir .. can you forward the details .. myself dr.ramesh ( oral surgeon ) .. intrested in working at newzealand .. 9505520499 ..

  5. Hi,
    I want to write NZDREX exam, can I write it from India or should it be written in NewZealand? If in India can please explain the process?


Leave a Comment