Overseas Trained Dentist Dental Assistant Program

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Overseas Trained Dentist Dental Assistant Program - Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the program held?

Am I eligible for this program?

I am on a student visa. Can I apply for this program?

How much does the program cost?

Is this program available in other Australian states?

How do I register?

How do I register with dentaljobs.org.au?

What is the content of the OTD-DA Program?

I have applied for this program before and was not successful. Can I apply again?

Is there scope for further study after completing the OTD-DA Program?

Will I get a job at the Dental Hospital?

Will I gain Certificate III in Dental Assisting at the completion of this program?

A Success Story


Where is the program held?

  • The Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne 720 Swanston Street, Carlton

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Am I eligible for this program?

  • To be eligible for the Overseas-Trained Dentist-Dental Assistant,(OTD-DA) Program you will need to have;
  • A Bachelor of Dental Science, (dentist qualification) from overseas.
  • Australian Permanent Residency or Australian Citizenship
  • Spousal Visa

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I am on a student visa. Can I apply for this program?

  • Unfortunately, you are not eligible for this program.

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How much does the program cost?

  • The cost is $2000 for the 10 week program.  This program does not attract subsidised  government funding
  • Additional costs – Text books approximately $250.00.

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Is this program available in other Australian states?

  • You will need to research the web for the answer to this question or contact the Public Dental Service in your preferred state.

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How do I register?

  • You can register your interest on the DHSV jobs website, http://www.dentaljobs.org.au/. When seeking enrolments for the OTD-DA Program, we will advertise the program via this website.

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How do I register at dentaljobs.org.au?

  • Open the site by clicking on this link. On the page, click on ‘register’ to open the registration page. Fill in your details and then click on ‘create account’. You have now registered with dentaljobs.org.au

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What is the content of the OTD-DA Program?

  • The OTD-DA Program is a full-time 10 week program, (Monday – Friday 8.30am-5.15pm).
  • The OTD-DA Program teaches applicants the skills and knowledge of how to be a Dental Assistant in Australia.
  • The course is structured as follows:
  • Participant numbers are limited to 4 per program intake.
  • Students who successfully complete the OTD-DA program will be issued with a letter of attendance upon completion.
What How long Where
  • Theory and classroom learning
3 weeks The Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne (RDHM)
  • Clinical experience in the  Dental Teaching Clinic (where dental students are working with patients)

2 weeks

The Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne (RDHM)

  • Hands-on chair-side experience
  • Hands-on bench-top sterilisation experience
  • Administrative observation
3 weeks A Community Health Clinic in metropolitan or regional Victoria
  • Hands on chair-side Specialist or GP experience, (one 2 week rotation).
2 weeks The Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne (RDHM)

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I have applied for this program before and was not successful. Can I apply again?

  • Yes. We encourage prospective candidates to re-apply for this program if this is something that they are truly passionate about. The program is run on a number of occasions each year.
  • There is a lot of interest in the OTD-DA Program. Provided that you apply for the program when prompted, and upload all mandatory required documentation, you may be selected to take part in a phone interview.  Second stage interviews are face-to-face prior to final selection.

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Is there scope for further study after completing the OTD-DA Program?

  • After the program, you may choose to work as a Dental Assistant, or continue studying to receive further qualifications such as;
  • Certificate IV in Radiology. Certificate IV in Oral Health Promotion. ( You will need to complete Certificate III in Dental Assisting before being able to go on to Certificate IV Dental Assistant studies in Radiology and/or Oral health Promotion)
  • Advanced Diploma of Oral Health,(Hygiene).( Certificate IV in Radiology is the pre-requisite to enrolment for this program).
  • Bachelor of Oral Health,(Hygiene and Therapy)
  • Study to sit the ADC exams which,(if successful), will qualify you to work as a Dentist in Australia.

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Will I get a job at the Dental Hospital?

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Will I gain Certificate III in Dental Assisting upon completion of this program?

  • The OTD-DA Program does not award Certificate III in Dental Assisting  upon completion of the program. This program is a preparatory program that teaches the skills and knowledge required to be a Dental Assistant in Australia.
  • Upon completion of the OTD-DA program, you are encouraged to seek recognition for prior learning to gain your Certificate III in Dental Assisting through Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT). This will attract an additional fee.
  • If you have not completed any study in Australia at a Certificate III level or above, you may be eligible for government funding.

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A Success Story

Colombian dentist David Giron is on his way to becoming a qualified Dentist in Australia.

Dental Assistant Training for Overseas Trained Dentists

Dental Assistant (DA) David Giron at the RDHM Teaching Clinic.

“I thought it would be a challenge being a male DA but I’ve been so well received by the students and staff. They have been very helpful and I’m grateful to them.  My long term goal is to be a dentist in Australia.”

David Giron has been working as a Dental Assistant at the Dental Health Services Victoria (DHSV) / Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne (RDHM) Dental Teaching Clinic since February 2015. David hails from Colombia and had completed a five year course in dentistry and was practicing as a Dentist for a year before moving to Australia in 2008.

When he arrived, David enrolled in an English course and worked in the community sector.

“I was not prepared to start in dentistry because of my English skills,” David said. “All my education was in Spanish.” David joined the DHSV Overseas-Trained Dentist-Dental Assistant Program in 2014, After completing the 10 week full-time program that equips participants with Dental Assistant skills and knowledge he then gained his Certificate III in Dental Assisting with RMIT.

“I was very interested in this program as it ran for only 10 weeks as compared to other courses which run for a year,” David said. “They recognised my work experience as an overseas trained dentist. It taught me a lot, such as infection control which is different in other countries. We also learned OH&S and it was very helpful to learn the terminology in English. For part of the program we had a placement in a community health centre for three weeks. It’s a good pathway to start working in the dental  industry in Australia.”

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