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Responsible for the ongoing oral health of the NZDF personnel through clinical procedures and education; this is a diverse and exciting role.

  • Service
  • Specialisation
    Medical and Health
  • Location
  • Starting Trade Training
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About the role

The role of the Dental Hygienist is to provide a combination of clinical skills and oral health education to help patients obtain and maintain good personal oral health standards.

Job on base

You will be responsible for scaling and debridement of deposits from teeth, taking x-rays, constructing mouthguards, providing fluoride treatments and a variety of other tasks.

Job on deployment

Dental teams can be deployed within New Zealand and overseas to support NZDF personnel on operational missions and exercises.

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.

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 RNZDC Dental Basic Course. This course is three weeks long and teaches the basics in cross infection control, routine clinical procedures and administrative duties required within the Dental Centre.

After two years of service, you will be required to attend the Dental Intermediate Course. You will also need to attend continued professional development courses to maintain your Annual Practising Certificate.

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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.


Under Initial Training


Starting Trade Training


Future potential earnings

Figures 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 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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