Dental Assistant

As a Dental Assistant in the NZ Army you will be a member of an oral health team which is responsible for providing dental services to the personnel of the NZ Defence Force (NZDF). The RNZDC is a tri-service Corps because it meets the dental needs of not only the Army, but also the Navy and the Air Force.

The RNZDC provides a full range of comprehensive dental and oral surgical care to our service personnel and the assistant plays an integral role in this team. Your day will vary, so dental assistants need to be highly organised individuals. Patients will rely on you for reassurance so it will be important that you communicate well and enjoy working in the health environment.

The role of a Dental Assistant in the military is to provide assistance to the Dental Officer during clinical procedures. This can range from simple mouth examinations, to fillings, or to the surgical extraction of teeth during complex oral surgical procedures.

You will be responsible for preparing the surgery for each procedure, maintaining the surgery equipment and applying detailed cross infection control procedures.

You could find yourself working on a ship, or even on deployment to places such as the Cook Islands, Afghanistan or Timor-Leste.

Well performing Dental Assistants may be given the opportunity to train as a Dental Hygienist or Dental Technician.

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.

  • You must be at least 17 years of age
  • Meet the citizenship & security requirements to gain CV security clearance for this trade

You must have achieved NCEA level 2 with a minimum of 12 credits in level 2 Science.

Find out more about the NCEA levels and certificate requirements

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

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

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 Dental Assistants how to assist a Dental Officer with all clinical procedures from fillings to oral surgery.

As this is a tri-service Corps, you will have a wide range of possible postings. You could be posted to an Air Force, Army, or Navy base.

These are located throughout New Zealand.