Oral Health Therapist

State/Territory Specific Information

Oral health therapists diagnose dental decay and gum diseases, work together with dentists to provide routine oral health care for children and adults, and also help to promote oral health and preventive dental practices among school children and the broader community.

Oral health therapists may perform the following tasks:

  • educate and motivate people to maintain good oral health
  • promote oral health in the community by providing relevant education and information, and working with other health services and groups such as parents' groups, play groups and parents and citizens' associations, residential care settings and schools
  • work to improve oral health within child care and elderly residential care and other health support settings, especially those that cater to people who do not have access to dental care
  • provide routine dental treatment for people of all ages including dental examinations and diagnosis, cleaning, scaling and polishing teeth, filling cavities and extracting deciduous (baby) teeth under local anaesthetic
  • treat people of all ages for gum conditions, take X-rays of teeth and jaws, apply sealants and fluoride therapy, and take impressions for mouthguard construction
  • bring more complex dental problems to the attention of dentists
  • liaise with other healthcare providers to support oral health as part of general health.

Oral health therapists who work in the public sector may be required to work anywhere in their state or territory, although individual preferences and applications for specific positions are taken into account.

Personal Requirements:

  • interested in health and wellbeing
  • good hand-eye coordination
  • able to do precise and detailed work
  • good communication skills
  • able to establish rapport with both children and adults
  • able to work as part of a team.

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