Army Dental Officer full width

Be a Dentist in one of the most exciting and unusual surgeries in the world: the NZ Army.

  • Service
  • Specialisation
    Medical and Health
  • Location
  • Starting salary
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About the role

As a Dental Officer in the New Zealand Army, you will provide oral health care to NZDF military personnel.

If you have referred to the minimum entry requirements below, but would like more information on this role please email

Job on base

As part of the oral health team, your role will involve the effective and timely delivery of quality oral health care to patients, and providing clinical supervision and mentoring to other members of the team.

Job on deployment

Oral health teams can be deployed within New Zealand and overseas to support NZDF personnel on operational missions and exercises. This includes forensic odontology as part of disaster victim identification.

Career progression and training

Career Progression

Basic Training

Ongoing Training

As a Dental Officer in the New Zealand Army, you will receive comprehensive training to allow you to effectively lead teams, in all kinds of situations. You will be taught how to handle weapons, and receive adventure and outdoor training. There are also opportunities to further your professional development and the possibility of further tertiary study.

Officer Cadet School (OCS)

(12 weeks) Location: Waiouru Military Camp

Initial training begins in early January. Attendees at this training will be a mixture of Regular Force General List Officer Cadets, Regular Force Special List Officer Cadets, and Reserve Force Special List Officer Cadets.

The training will be split into three modules and attendance at Modules One, Two and Three is required for all Regular Force Officer Cadets. Reserve Force Special List Officer Cadets must attend Modules One and Three; this can be in the same year or in consecutive years.


Training covers:

  • NZ Army Ethos and Values
  • Self-leadership
  • Physical Training
  • Basic field-craft
  • Military Unarmed Combat
  • Weapon handling
  • Navigation
  • Battle-craft
  • Radio telephone procedure
  • Weapon handling
  • Drill
  • NZ Army tactics
  • Leadership

There are opportunities to further your professional development and tertiary study.

After initial employment and training the NZ Army may provide funding and study leave for Dental Officers to complete further professional study for a number of different courses including post graduate clinical doctorates and diplomas.

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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.


Starting salary


Future potential earnings

Figure updated on July 1st 2023

Benefits and allowances

Earn a competitive salary while training or learning your trade, along with additional allowances for time spent in the field, at sea, overseas, or deployed on operations.

In addition to salary and allowances, other benefits of joining the New Zealand Defence Force include:

Access to your Service marae or tūrangawaewae

Sponsored tertiary study programmes at all levels

Free access to gyms and swimming pools on camp and bases

Opportunities to travel

Free and subsidised medical and dental care

Subsidised food and accommodation on camps and bases

Free and subsidised insurance cover

Help to buy a home and save for retirement

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 SV security clearance for this trade.

Qualified Dentist, registered with the Dental Council of NZ (or in final year of dental studies).

  • You must be medically fit for service.
  • Colour perception restrictions may apply.

There are strict citizenship and security requirements to gain the required SV 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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