As a Dental Technician in the Royal New Zealand Dental Corps (RNZDC) you will be a member of an oral health team which is responsible for providing dental care to the personnel of the NZ Defence Force (NZDF) The RNZDC provides a full range of comprehensive dental and oral surgical care to our service personnel and Dental Technicians are a vital part of that team.
Dental Technicians create fixed and removable oral appliances, such as dentures, ceramic (natural tooth coloured) and gold crowns, implant retained crowns, mouth-guards and other such items.
The role is very hands on. You will need a certain amount of artistic flair, and have good manual dexterity. You could be shaping wax, moulding plastic resin, casting precious metals, or using wires and composite materials to create a new appliance, custom made for the patient.
Dental teams are deployed overseas to support NZDF personnel on operational missions, some of which have been East Timor and Bougainville. Dental Technicians may also participate in overseas exercises and have recently done so in various Pacific Island countries.
Dental Technicians are a registered profession, and will work toward a recognised qualification for NZ registration.
Careers in the Army are well-rewarded, as well as being diverse and exciting. As you become more experienced and move up through the ranks, gaining additional skills and qualifications, you will see your salary rise accordingly.
While undertaking initial Recruit Course you will be paid as a Recruit (see attached pay table). On completion of your Recruit Course you will be paid as a Private and your pay will continue to increase as your career progresses.
Upon successful enlistment into the Army you’ll be posted to Waiouru Army base. Here you will do 16 weeks of basic military training to find out if you have got what it takes to be in the Army, and learn various subjects including:
Soon after completing your recruit training you will be required to attend the Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment Corps Training Course. On this course you will learn military and logistics skills necessary for your role in a field setting.
The first trade course you will attend is the Basic Dental Course. This course is three weeks long and teaches the basics of how to assist a Dental Officer with all clinical procedures from fillings to oral surgery.
Initially this will depend on your qualifications. If you have already gained the relevant qualifications and New Zealand registration, then you would work at the Dental Laboratory, which is at Trentham Military Camp following initial recruit training.