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ADC - Dentists

Australian Dental Council


Information for Dentists regarding visas and immigration to Australia.

Obtaining a visa to reside permanently in Australia made easy.

On this page you will find all forms and information documents pertaining to Dentists. All documents are listed under "Downloads," top right corner of this page.


The Australian Dental Council (ADC) is the organisation responsible for assessing overseas trained dentists to enable them to obtain registration in Australia. ADC also accredits Australian dental schools. The Dental Boards, the dental schools, the Royal Australasian Association are represented on the ADC.

Eligibility criteria

Overseas trained dentists are eligible to undertake the ADC examination procedure if they have completed and passed a dental degree which included at least four years' full-time academic study at a university recognised by the ADC and are eligible for registration as a dentist in their country of training.

Qualifications Immediately Acceptable to Registration Boards

Dentists with a Bachelor degree obtained from the United Kingdom or Ireland may have qualifications which may be acceptable to Dental Registration Boards for immediate registration.

Under the Mutual Recognition Act 1992, subject to certain conditions, if a person is registered to practise an occupation in one State or Territory they can carry out an equivalent occupation in any other State or Territory. Under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement (TTMRA) individuals registered or licensed to practise an occupation New Zealand are entitled to practise the equivalent occupation in any Australian State and Territory and visa versa. The TTMRA covers all occupations except medicine for which some form of registration, certification, licensing or other form of authorisation is required to practise legally. The Mutual Recognition Act and the TTMRA apply irrespective of where training was undertaken.

To find out if you can obtain registration under the provisions of the Mutual Recognition Act or the TTMRA you should contact the relevant registration authority in the Australian State or Territory in which you intend to practise.

As the acceptability of any dental qualification may change from time to time, you should seek up-to-date information from the Registration Boards.

Qualifications Not Immediately Acceptable to Registration Boards

If your qualifications do not immediately meet Australian requirements, there are two options. The first is to complete an Australian dental degree course at one of the Australian Universities listed at the end of this document.

The second option is to undertake the examination procedure conducted by the ADC described below.

Examination Procedures

The ADC examination procedures have been developed specifically to assess the qualifications of overseas trained dentists whose qualifications are not accepted as a basis for registration by Australian Dental Boards.

The examination procedure consists of three parts an Occupational English Test (OET); a Preliminary Examination (Multiple Choice Questions and Short Answer questions); and a Final Examination(clinical). These must be taken sequentially.

Occupational English Test (OET)

A comprehensive knowledge of English is essential to the practice of dentistry in Australia. The OET is organised by Language Australia. The OET assesses reading, writing, speaking and listening skills and takes about three and a half hours to complete. If your first language is not English or your dental training was not carried out in English, you must achieve a pass in all four sections of this test. At present, the OET is held twice each year both within Australia and overseas, in March/April and September/October.

If you want further information about the OET, you can contact Language Australia as the following address:

Language Australia Ltd GPO Box 372F, Melbourne, Victoria 3001. Tel + 61 3 9926 4779, Fax + 61 3 9926 4780 Web-site:

You must pass this test, if applicable, or gain an exemption, before you proceed to the Preliminary Examination.

Preliminary Examination

The Preliminary Examination is a written examination in multiple choice and short written answer format. It is designed to test your knowledge of the practice of dentistry and of clinical and technical procedures as they are practised in Australia. Previous examination papers are not available, but sample multiple choice questions are made available to enrolled candidates.

Final Examination - Clinical

In order to be eligible to sit for the Final Examination you must pass the Preliminary Examination.

The clinical examination is held over three to six days and includes the following three blocks:

  • Conservative Dentistry - Operative Dentistry and Paedodontics;
  • Treatment Planning -including consideration of Periodontics and Removable Prosthodontics;
  • Oral Surgery, Oral Diagnosis and Radiology.

Aspects of all clinical disciplines such as Orthodontics, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology and Pharmacology will be included where appropriate (practical and/or theoretical and/or viva voce). You will be examined at the same level as that reached by recent graduates from Australian universities.

Examination Venues and Training

If you live overseas, you may take the OET and the ADC Preliminary Examination at an overseas venue. If you are in Australia, you can sit both these examinations in any of the State capital cities and some larger provincial centres.

The Preliminary Examination is usually held in the first week of March and in the first week of September each year. You are allowed unlimited attempts at this examination, but a new fee must be paid for each attempt.

The Final Examination is held only in Australia, usually twice a year in July and November. Candidates resident outside Australia may be able to obtain a temporary entry visa to cover a their own expense, the trip to Australia to attend the examination. The venue is currently in Melbourne. You are allowed two attempts ONLY at this Examination.

ADC Certificate

An ADC Certificate is issued upon successful completion of the ADC examination procedure. The ADC Certificate entitles you to apply for registration to any of the Australian Dental Boards.



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