Oral health therapist opportunities growing as more people require dental care
Demand for oral health therapists is growing because:
- more people are becoming aware of the importance of preventive dental care
- the ageing population and a rise in cases of obesity and diabetes mean more people need dental care
- the dental therapist and hygienist workforce (which makes up part of the oral health therapist workforce) is ageing.
Oral health therapist appears on Immigration New Zealand's Green List. This means the Government is actively encouraging skilled oral health therapists from overseas to work in New Zealand.
According to the Census, 1,116 oral health therapists worked in New Zealand in 2018.
Oral health therapists work for other dental professionals or have their own practice
Most oral health therapists work for:
- school and community dental services.
- dentists who do general dental work
- dental specialists such as periodontists (who prevent, diagnose and treat gum disease) or orthodontists (who prevent, diagnose and treat misalignments of the teeth and jaw).
Some also set up their own private practices, and may contract out their services to a dentist.