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Dental career structure

At Queensland Health dentists work as a multi-skilled member of a dental team to treat teeth, gums and soft tissues of the mouth, to improve both the oral and general health of clients.

Dentists and oral health professionals provide a wide range of oral health services to clients of all ages and can also work in education and research, management and policy development roles. Development programs, in-service training and participation in research projects are actively encouraged.

Queensland Health offers differing work environments including hospital, school and community based clinics. Outreach services are also provided to hospitals, correctional centres and aged care facilities. Queensland Health encourages contemporary minimally invasive dentistry with a strong focus on prevention.

Dental specialisations

There are a number of dental specialist areas from diagnosis and management of diseases of the oral cavity and associated structures, to a focus on mucosal pathology. Management is principally by non-surgical (pharmacological) therapies. Clinical practice includes the management of oral ulceration, oral cancer and pre-cancer, oro-facial pain and xerostomia.

A substantial part of the practice involves providing care for medically-compromised patients. We provide statewide services using local dental clinic facilities and visiting Specialists. There is also an increasing use of telemedicine for more remote areas.

With experience and further study, a dentist can specialise in a range of areas including:

  • endodontics
  • oral and maxillofacial surgery
  • orthodontics
  • paediatrics
  • periodontics
  • prosthodontics
  • special needs dentistry.

Dental prosthetists

A dental prosthetist works independently to provide complete and partial dentures, dental appliances and mouthguards.

They consult directly with clients about their dental prosthetic needs and help to achieve the client’s goals by cosmetically improving appearance, achieving improved breathing, nutrition and general health, or increasing confidence and social prospects with a prostheses.

Become a prosthetist

After completing a relevant course in dental technology, dental technicians can upgrade their qualifications to become a dental prosthetist.

Entry to these courses usually requires completion of a diploma or degree in dental technology. As entry requirements may vary, you should contact a relevant provider for further details.

Dental technician

Dental technicians construct and repair dentures (false teeth) and other dental appliances including crowns and bridges, maxillofacial prosthetic appliances and mouthguards.

Dental technicians work in dental laboratories on their own or in small work groups. Dental technicians work closely with dentists and dental prosthetists.

Become a dental technician

To become a dental technician you will need to complete a diploma or degree in dental technology. Entry usually requires completion of Year 12.

Oral health therapist

Oral health therapists typically have duel qualifications in dental therapy and dental hygiene. Oral health therapists provide a wide range of dental care in a variety of settings to children, adolescents and adults.

Become an oral health therapist

To become an oral health therapist you will need to complete a Bachelor level course at university. Courses provide training in dental therapy, dental hygiene and health promotion. Entry normally requires a Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE).

Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics B, biological science, chemistry and physics are also normally required. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information as requirements may change.

Last updated: 12 June 2014

Find out more

Read the dental career factsheets to find out more about training and education requirements: