Scopes of practice for clinical dental technicians

This page lists the scopes of practice for clinical dental technology.

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The Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (the Act) describes a scope of practice as the health service that a practitioner registered in that scope of practice is permitted to perform, subject to any conditions for the time being imposed by the responsible authority.

The Council publishes a scope of practice as a Notice in the New Zealand Gazette under section 11 of the Act.

Scope of practice for clinical dental technology


The practice of clinical dental technology involves the processes and procedures associated with taking impressions, undertaking other non-invasive clinical procedures related to the design, manufacture, repair and fitting of complete or partial removable oral and extra-oral appliances and prostheses, in accordance with this scope of practice and the clinical dental technician’s approved education, training, experience and competence1.

Clinical dental technology practice includes:

  • activities described in the scope of practice for dental technology
  • taking impressions and undertaking other non-invasive clinical procedures involved in:
    • the fitting and relining of removable complete dentures when there are no natural teeth remaining and there is no diseased or unhealed hard or soft tissue
    • the fitting and relining of removable partial dentures subject to the patient having obtained an oral health certificate from a dentist or dental specialist; and
    • the construction of removable complete and partial immediate dentures on the prescription of, and prior to the fitting by a dentist or dental specialist
    • the relining and construction of removable complete and partial root/tooth overdentures subject to the patient having obtained an oral health certificate from and on the prescription of a dentist or dental specialist, and prior to the final fitting2 by a dentist or dental specialist
  • processes and procedures associated with extraoral maxillofacial prostheses, for those with formal training or if they can demonstrate that they have the requisite knowledge and training to undertake this work3:
    • taking impressions and undertaking other non-invasive clinical procedures involved in the fitting, construction and repair of extra-oral maxillofacial prostheses,that are not in direct communication with the naso- or the orophayngeal airway under the prescription of a dentist, dental specialist or medical practitioner, who remains responsible for the clinical outcomes of the patient
    • taking impressions of maxillofacial defects that are in direct communication with the naso- or the orophayngeal airway, for those clinical dental technicians with formal training or if they can demonstrate that they have the requisite knowledge and training to undertake this work, and only under the direct clinical supervision of a dentist, dental specialist or medical practitioner qualified to manage an airway emergency, who remains responsible for the clinical outcomes of the patient
  • taking impressions and undertaking other non-invasive clinical procedures involved in the construction of removable complete and partial implant overdentures on the prescription of, and prior to the final fitting2 by a dentist or dental specialist. This does not include removal or placement of abutments such as healing, temporary or permanent, or fixture level/subgingival impression copings
  • repairing and/or relining of removable complete and partial implant overdentures on the prescription of and prior to the final fit2 by a dentist or dental specialist and appropriate referral when indicated
  • designing, constructing, repairing and supplying appliances for the treatment of sleep disorders only on the prescription of a registered dentist, dental specialist or medical practitioner
  • taking impressions and undertaking other non-invasive procedures involved in the construction of an anti-snoring device, however, only a dentist, dental specialist or medical practitioner, who retains responsibility for the clinical care outcomes, can perform the final fit2 of the appliance
  • in relation to the above activities:
    • obtaining medical and dental histories and consulting with other health practitioners as appropriate
    • examination of the oral tissues to ensure that the patient’s mouth is fit for purpose and free of disease, disorder or abnormality
    • referral of patients to a dentist, dental specialist or medical practitioner when any disease, disorder or abnormality is detected
    • referral of patients to a dentist, dental specialist or medical practitioner for a prescription for an oral health certificate and treatment plan where required
    • preparation of a treatment plan (in association with a prescription if required) and communicating this to the patient
    • oral health education and promotion.

Practice in this context goes wider than clinical dental technology practice to include teaching, research, and management, given that such roles influence clinical practice and public safety. Areas of clinical dental technology practice which were not included in a practitioner’s training should not be undertaken unless the practitioner has completed appropriate training and practises to the standards required by the Standards Framework for Oral Health Practitioners.

1 The working relationship between clinical dental technicians and prescribing health practitioners is set out in the relevant Dental Council Practice Standard

Final fitting for clinical dental technicians means ensuring the patient is referred back to the prescribing dentist/dental specialist for the subsequent management and ongoing monitoring of that patient’s oral health

3. Practitioners should demonstrate that they have the requisite knowledge and training to undertake extraoral maxillofacial prostheses work in accordance with the Standards Framework

Scope of practice for implant overdentures 


The practice of implant overdentures by clinical dental technicians is the processes and procedures associated with taking impressions, undertaking other non-invasive clinical procedures related to the design, manufacture, repair and trial fitting of removable complete and partial implant overdentures, in accordance with this scope of practice and the clinical dental technician’s additional approved education, training, experience and competence4.

The scope for implant overdenture practice includes:

  • the activities described in the scopes of practice for dental technology and clinical dental technology
  • taking impressions and undertaking other non-invasive clinical procedures involved in the construction of removable complete and partial implant overdentures on the prescription of, and prior to the final fitting5 by, a dentist or dental specialist
  • repairing removable complete and partial implant overdentures prescribed and fitted by a dentist or dental specialist and appropriate referral when indicated
  • relining removable complete and partial implant overdentures on the prescription of, and prior to the final fitting by a dentist or dental specialist5

Practice in this context goes wider than clinical dental technology practice to include teaching, research, and management, given that such roles influence clinical practice and public safety. Areas of implant overdentures practice which were not included in a practitioner’s training should not be undertaken unless the practitioner has completed appropriate training and practises to the standards required by the Standards Framework for Oral Health Practitioners.

Appliances and prostheses are prescribed by a practising dental specialist or dentist; and they do the final fit of the implant overdenture

5 Final fitting for clinical dental technicians means ensuring the patient is referred back to the prescribing dentist/dental specialist for the subsequent management and ongoing monitoring of that patient’s oral health

Prescribed qualifications for the clinical dental technology scope of practice.