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.

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

  • 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.

Fast Facts

  • Unavailable Weekly Pay
  • 12,700 workers Employment Size
  • Very strong Future Growth
  • Very high skill Skill level rating
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment
  • 65.1% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 38.4 hours Average full-time
  • 40 years Average age
  • 49.3% female Gender Share

The number of Dental Practitioners stayed fairly stable over the past 5 years and is expected to grow very strongly over the next 5 years:
from 12,700 in 2017 to 15,400 by 2022.
There are likely to be around 6,000 job openings over this time from workers leaving and new jobs being created.

  • Size: This is a medium sized occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2017.
  • Location: Dental Practitioners work in most regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry.
  • Full-time: Many work full-time (65.1%, similar to the all jobs average of 68.4%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 38.4 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 40 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 49.3% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2017 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2022.
YearNumber of Workers
200710400
20089800
200913200
201011400
201111500
201212900
201314900
201411900
201510100
201611500
201712700
202215400

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

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

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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 Assistance100.0

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 2017, 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
NSW38.431.6
VIC22.026.2
QLD22.119.7
SA2.96.7
WA13.110.8
TAS1.02.0
NT0.31.1
ACT0.31.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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
15-190.0-5.25.2
20-245.1-9.99.9
25-3431.0-23.623.6
35-4424.6-21.721.7
45-5423.2-20.820.8
55-593.8-8.88.8
60-643.8-6.06.0
65 and Over8.7-4.04.0

Education Level

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/Diploma0-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV0-18.918.9
Year 120-18.718.7
Years 11 & 100-17.717.7
Below Year 100-8.18.1

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

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Health Industry VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

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

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  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.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 29-1021.00 - Dentists, General.

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

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  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
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 29-1021.00 - Dentists, General.

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