Dental Practitioners diagnose and treat dental disease, restore normal oral function using a broad range of treatments, such as surgery and other specialist techniques, and advise on oral health.

A Bachelor Degree or higher is usually needed to work in this job. Registration or licensing is required.

Tasks

  • diagnosing dental diseases using a range of methods such as radiographs, salivary tests and medical histories
  • providing preventative oral health care such as periodontal treatments, fluoride applications and oral health promotion
  • providing restorative oral care such as implants, complex crown and bridge restorations, and orthodontics, and repairing damaged and decayed teeth
  • providing oral surgical treatments such as biopsy of tissue and prescription of medication
  • performing routine orthodontic treatment
  • restoring oral function with removable and fixed oral prostheses
  • assisting in diagnosing general diseases having oral manifestations such as diabetes
  • educating patients to take care of their mouth and teeth
  • leading a dental team which may comprise Dental Hygienists, Dental Therapists, Dental Assistants and other Dental Specialists

Job Titles

  • Dental Specialist
  • Dentist, Dental Practitioner, or Dental Surgeon
  • Dental Specialist

    Diagnoses and treats diseases, injuries, irregularities and malformations of teeth and associated structures in the mouth and jaw using surgery and other specialist techniques. Registration or licensing is required.

  • Dentist, Dental Practitioner, or Dental Surgeon

    Diagnoses and treats dental disease, injuries, decay and malformations of the teeth, periodontal tissue (gums), hard and soft tissue found on the mouth and other dento-facial structures using surgery and other techniques. Registration or licensing is required.

    Specialisations: Endodontist, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, Oral Pathologist, Orthodontist, Paedodontist, Periodontist, Prosthodontist

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    Unavailable
  • Future Growth

    strong
  • Skill Level

    Bachelor Degree or higher
  • Employment Size

    10,300
  • Unemployment

    below average
  • Male Share

    54.8%
  • Female Share

    45.2%
  • Full-Time Share

    74.9%

Find Vacancies

This is a small occupation employing 10,300 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has grown.
Strong growth is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create up to 5,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • Dental Practitioners work in most parts of Australia.
  • They nearly all work in Health Care and Social Assistance.
  • Full-time work is common. Full-time workers, on average, work 38.1 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • The average age is 44 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years) and around 5 in 10 workers are aged 45 years or older.
  • Around 5 in 10 workers are male.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was below average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
200511500
200611800
200710000
200812700
200910900
201010000
201114200
201213800
201313400
201410000
201510300
202011200

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryDental PractitionersAll Jobs Average
Full-time74.968.4
Part-time25.131.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)38.140.0

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Health Care and Social Assistance97.6
Public Administration and Safety1.5
Education and Training0.9

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateDental PractitionersAll Jobs Average
NSW24.031.8
VIC28.625.5
QLD29.019.8
SA4.06.8
WA9.011.2
TAS0.82.0
NT1.81.1
ACT2.71.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketDental PractitionersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.0-5.45.4
20-246.5-9.99.9
25-3424.2-23.423.4
35-4423.4-21.721.7
45-5419.8-21.121.1
55-5913.6-8.78.7
60-645.8-5.95.9
65 and Over6.6-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryDental PractitionersCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males54.8Males53.6
Females45.2Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationDental PractitionersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate32.1-8.68.6
Bachelor degree67.9-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma0.0-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV0.0-18.918.9
Year 120.0-18.718.7
Years 11 & 100.0-17.717.7
Below Year 100.0-8.18.1

A Bachelor Degree or higher is usually needed to work in this job. Registration or licensing is required.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Dental Practitioners who are caring and empathetic and can work well in a team, with the ability to communicate with a diverse range of people.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Medicine and Dentistry

    100% Important

    Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

  2. Customer and Personal Service

    85% Important

    Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  3. English Language

    79% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  4. Biology

    70% Important

    Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.

  5. Psychology

    69% Important

    Human behaviour and performance; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioural and affective disorders.

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O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Getting Information

    94% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  2. Performing for or Working Directly with the Public

    93% Important

    Performing for, or speaking with, the public. This includes speaking on television, serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

  3. Assisting and Caring for Others

    93% Important

    Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support to people such as co-workers, customers, or patients.

  4. Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge

    93% Important

    Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

  5. Making Decisions and Solving Problems

    93% Important

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

Occupational Information Network Dentists, General Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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