Responsible for the ongoing oral health of the NZ Army via education and clinical procedures, this is a diverse and exciting role.

  • Service
  • Specialisation
    Medical and Health
  • Starting Salary
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About the role

The role of the Dental Hygienist is to obtain and maintain good dental health amongst New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel through a combination of practical clinical skills and education.

As a Hygienist, you will mostly work on your own. However, the clinical skills that you provide are an important part of a team that aims to give an overview of the dental needs of NZDF personnel.

Job on base

You will be responsible for scaling and debridement of deposits from teeth and gums, taking x-rays, making mouthguards, polishing teeth, fillings, advising patients on oral hygiene education, providing fluoride treatments and a variety of other tasks.

Job on deployment

Dental teams are deployed overseas to support NZDF personnel on operational missions, some of which have been in East Timor and Bougainville.

It’s alot more relaxed in the Army because you get more time with your patients.

Career progression and training

Career Progression
Basic Training
Job Training
Ongoing Training

You will have the opportunity to attend courses and conferences relevant to the field of dental hygiene. These could be held within New Zealand, or overseas.

Aside from your ongoing professional development, you will also learn all the skills required to become a competent soldier. This will include weapons training, fitness, leadership and various other skills not provided to civilian dental workers.

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:

  • Organisation and Administration
  • Army Customs and Protocol
  • Drill and Parades
  • Military Field Skills and Weapon Training
  • First Aid
  • Physical Fitness

You will be expected to attend a three-week Basic Dental Administration Course at Burnham.

After two years of service, you will be required to attend the Dental Managers Course, also at Burnham. You will also attend civilian organised continuing education courses each year to maintain your clinical education.

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Salary and benefits

Careers in the Army are well-rewarded, diverse and exciting. As you become more experienced and move up through the ranks, gaining additional skills and qualifications, your salary will rise accordingly.




Higher Rank

Benefits and allowances

There are many additional benefits to being in the Defence Force, that will make your money go further.

For example, on top of your basic salary you can expect ‘Military Factor’. This provides you with significant extra financial rewards because of the commitment you’ve made to serve your country.

Free medical and dental
Access to subsidised equipment on base
Subsidised food on base
Competitive superannuation, up to 4% with KiwiSaver
Sponsored tertiary study programmes at all levels

Entry requirements

Fitness and Medical
Period of Service
  • You must be at least 17 years of age
  • Meet the citizenship and security requirements to gain CV security clearance for this trade
  • A Diploma of Dental Hygiene (or equivalent)
  • Registered with the Dental Council of NZ
  • You must be medically fit for service.
  • Colour perception restrictions may apply.

There are strict citizenship and security requirements to gain the required CV security clearance for this trade.

Find out if you’re eligible here.

There may be a return of service period for this trade.

Please contact our 0800 number or talk to your Candidate Experience Facilitator for more information.


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