In this article, I will explain the basic details to work as a dentist in New Zealand who has done their graduation in dentistry outside New Zealand. 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.
Why Work as a Dentist in New Zealand?
New Zealand is a country situated near the Pacific oceans south-western part with two main islands. These islands are surrounded by beautiful glaciers and volcanoes. The capital of New Zealand is Wellington which comes in the north island.
New Zealand is a country with 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 an example of dentists in India. A dentist in India charges Rs.2500 for a root canal treatment and in new Zealand dentist 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 US, UK, and Cannada 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 more economical than countries like US and 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 other 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 ability to adjust to the 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 exams 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 in the dental council of New Zealand. The exam is known as New Zealand Dentist Registration Exam or NZDREX.
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 below)
- If you don’t have a prescribed qualification then you should have an equivalent qualification with 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:
It’s simple, it’s a qualification which has gone through some formal accreditation to check the standards and quality of the dental council or any other jurisdiction which is recognized by the New Zealand Dental Council. And prescribed qualification is for two sections, one for dentists and other for dental specialists. These qualifications are gazetted and are always monitored for quality.
Prescribed Qualification for Dentists
- 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 aproved 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
- Medical University of South Africa
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.
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 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 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. And you must provide the registration certificate for proof.
- You must provide the certificate of conduct or character from the schools and college of past seven years. The certificate must not be older than three months of 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 have exceeded three times to clear the examination to pass both 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; absence of surface antigen with a surface antibody of greater than equal to 10 IU/L, will be accepted.
Fitness Requirement for Registration:
Under 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 that 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 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 reflects 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 that you may endanger the health and safety of the public.
Submit your overseas training and experience 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 individual assessment to work as a dentist in New Zealand.
Documents and Proof you Have to provide:
You must provide your information about qualification, training and your experience since graduating. You also have to provide proof of continuing professional developments. Other evidence you have to provide is on your fitness, good character, health and efficiency to communicate in English. The information includes certificates on 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 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
- Commissioner of Oaths
- Commonwealth representative
- Any other authorized person of your country who administer an oath there for judicial proceedings
Authorized person to certify in non-commonwealth countries:
- Solicitor of the high court of New Zeland
- 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.
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 to be updated on their official site. If I get any more updates on this subject I will surely post it 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.
Oh! Do you want to join MDS after BDS? You can read my complete guide on MDS admission through management quota here.