After 5 years of studying in Dunedin most new graduates are thankful to escape student life and gain experience working as a qualified dentist.
During these first few years is generally the time when you can experience different working environments, establish a base for yourself, travel or start a family. Throughout your career there is always the need to participate in continuing professional development but at some point you may wish to return to formal post graduate study and specialise.
Below are some of the areas in which you can specialise in New Zealand, including the number of specialists currently practising in New Zealand and where they are located:
Endodontics: deals with the morphology, physiology and pathology of the human tooth and in particular, the dental pulp, root and peri-radicular tissues.
Practising Endodontists in NZ as of May 2013: Dunedin (2), Auckland (1).
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery: deals with the diagnosis, surgical and adjunctive treatment of diseases, injuries and defects of the human jaws and associated structures.
Practising Oral and Marxillofacial Surgeons as of May 2013: Auckland (15), Hamilton (6), Tauranga (1), Napier (2), Palmerston North (1), New Plymouth (1), Wellington (4), Nelson (1), Christchurch (6), Dunedin (3), Invercargill (1).
Oral Medicine: deals with the diagnosis and management of the oral health care of patients with medically related disorders of the teeth and jaw.
Practising Oral Medicine Specialists in NZ as of May 2013: Auckland (2), Wellington (1), Christchurch (1).
Oral Pathologist: deals with diseases of the teeth, jaws, oral soft tissues and associated structures. Studies their causes, pathogenesis and effects, and by use of clinical, radiographic, microscopic and other laboratory procedures establishes differential diagnoses and provides forensic evaluations.
Practising Oral Pathologists in NZ as of May 2013: Wellington (1), Dunedin (5).
Oral Surgeon: deals with the diagnosis, surgical and adjunctive treatment of diseases and injuries limited to the dento-alveolar complex.
Practising Oral Surgeons in NZ as of May 2013: Auckland (2), Tauranga (1), Palmerston North (1), Timaru (1), Dunedin (1).
Orthodontics: deals with the study and supervision of the growth and development of the dentition and its related anatomical structures, including preventive and corrective procedures of dentofacial irregularities requiring the re-positioning of teeth, jaws, and/or soft tissues by functional or mechanical means.
Practising Orthodontists in NZ as of May 2013: Whangarei (1), Auckland (33), Hamilton (4), Tauranga (2), Rotorua (2), Napier (3), Gisborne (2), New Plymouth (3), Whanganui (1), Palmerston North (2), Wellington (7), Nelson (2), Christchurch (11), Timaru (1), Dunedin (6), Gore (1) Queenstown (1), Invercargill (1).
Paediatric Dentistry: deals with the prevention and treatment of dental diseases and abnormalities in children and their associated developmental and behavioural problems.
Practising Paediatric Dentistry Specialists in NZ as of May 2013: Auckland (3), Hamilton (1), Wellington (1), Nelson (1), Christchurch (1), Dunedin (4).
Periodontics: deals with the prevention, recognition, diagnosis and treatment of the diseases and disorders of the investing and supporting tissues of natural teeth or their substitutes.
Practising Periodontists in NZ as of May 2013: Auckland (11), Hamilton (2), Wellington (4), Nelson (1), Christchurch (3), Dunedin (8).
Prosthodontics: deals with the restoration and maintenance of oral health, function and appearance by coronal alteration or reconstruction of natural teeth, or the replacement of missing teeth and contiguous oral and maxillofacial tissues with substitutes.
Practising Prosthodontists in NZ as of May 2013: Whangarei (1), Auckland (7), Hamilton (2), Wellington (1), Nelson (1), Christchurch (2), Dunedin (9).
Public Health Dentistry: deals with the community as the patient rather than the individual, being concerned with oral health education of the public, applied dental research and administration of dental care programmes including prevention and control of oral diseases on a community basis.
Practising Public Health Dentistry Specialists in NZ as of May 2013: Auckland (3), Tauranga (1), Napier (1), Wellington (2), Christchurch (4), Oamaru (1), Dunedin (4), Invercargill (1).
Special Needs Dentistry: deals with patients where intellectual disability, medical, physical or psychiatric conditions require special methods or techniques to prevent or treat oral health problems, or where such conditions necessitate special dental treatment plans.
Practising Special Needs Dentistry Specialists in NZ as of May 2013: Whangarei (1), Auckland (3), New Plymouth (2), Christchurch (2).
The NZDA has many members who specialise in each of the above areas. If you are interested in specialising and would like to speak with someone more experienced about it, then please contact Ami Gilchrist at NZDA. She will happily put you in touch with the right person.