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Tooth Structure

The part of the tooth that is usually visible over the gum is called the crown and the part that is attached to the gum is called the root. Enamel is the outer calcified tissue layer covering the crown of the tooth. It is one of the hardest substances in the body.

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ABOUT DENTISTRY

Careers in Dentistry

Industry Outlook

The dental services industry is growing in New Zealand. There is a national shortage of dental therapists, hygienists and dental assistants and there is an acute shortage of dentists in many provincial and rural areas. The changing attitudes to dental health, increasing dental awareness and greater number of people seeking regular dental care to retain their teeth can all be attributed to this growing demand.

As of July 2008, there are 3422 people in the active dental workforce. This includes 1960 dentists including specialists, 664 dental therapists, 388 dental hygienists, 249 dental technicians and 161 clinical dental technicians.

In New Zealand, the majority of oral health practitioners work in private dental practices. However the government, district health boards, universities and private companies also employ a large number of them. Oral health practitioners have the opportunity to pursue their careers in many other places like private practices, hospitals, school dental clinics, community dental clinics, armed forces, dental companies and also research and teaching.   

Qualifications

If you're thinking of a career in dentistry, there are plenty of training options available at the University of Otago. The Faculty of Dentistry at the university offers a number of degree programmes in all fields of dental practice. Please contact the Faculty of Dentistry for more information on dental courses and entry requirements.

In addition, a three-year degree combined dental therapist/hygienist programme that allows the graduates to practice as either a dental therapist or as a dental hygienist or both is offered at the AUT University

Regulation

The Dental Council of New Zealand is a self-regulatory body that regulates dentists, dental hygienists, dental therapists, dental technicians and clinical dental technicians. Upon qualifying and before practicing all dental professionals must register with the Dental Council.  The Dental Council's role is to protect the public interest by ensuring that oral health practitioners are safe and competent to practice. All registered oral health practitioners are required to maintain the high standards of practice by engaging in continuing dental education and development