New Zealand

Information to work in this country is available from

Dental Council of New Zealand

Special conditions that may apply for hygienists that obtain employment

Hygienists practice under ‘clinical guidance’ – dentist does not have to be on premises at all times for most procedures.

Contact for Work Permit and/or Visa

New Zealand Immigration Services at the nearest Consulate or Embassy.

Is a job offer required before a Work Permit/Visa is issued?


Main local and/or official language(s)

Pass in English competency exam required

Are hygienists qualified overseas required to sit the country's national examination?

Overseas trained may have to sit NZDHREX – education evaluated by Dental Hygiene Board appointed educators. NZ Conditions of Practice exam required of all applicants

Information on the local working environment

Hygienists work in private practice. Treatment primarily adults as Dental Therapists treat most children

Standard tasks that a hygienist is allowed to undertake in the country

  • Obtaining and assessing medical and dental histories
  • Examination of oral tissues and recognition of abnormalities
  • Assessing and provisionally diagnosing disease of periodontal tissue, and appropriate referral
  • Obtaining informed consent for dental hygiene care plans
  • Providing oral health education, information promotion and counseling
  • Scaling, debridement and prophylaxis of supra and subgingival tooth surfaces
  • Applying prescription preventive agents under the direct supervision of a dentist
  • Applying and dispensing non-prescriptin preventive agents and fissure sealants
  • Applying and dispensing topical agents for the treatment of tooth surface sensitivity and discolouration
  • Taking impressions, recording occlusal relationships and making study models
  • Taking impressions, constructing and fitting mouthguards and bleaching trays
  • Performing postoperative procedures such as removal of sutures and placement and removal of periodontal dressings
  • Recontouring and polishing restorations
  • Local Anaesthetic (additional scope must be applied for)
  • Taking intra and extraoral radiographs (additional scope must be applied for)

Further information

Dental hygiene became a Registered profession in September 2004. All those wishing to work in NZ must apply to the Dental Council ( and meet New Zealand immigration requirements.

Links to related web sites

WHO Oral Health: Country/Area Profile Programme

NOTE: The information provided above is for general guidance only. The International Federation of Dental Hygienists advises all hygienists to contact the country’s relevant licensing bodies and agencies for current information and regulations.