What is an Oral Health Therapist?

Nurse gestures as she talks with senior male patient

Oral Health Therapists are oral health professionals registered with the Dental Board of Australia, who provide dental and oral health care within a preventative philosophy. Oral Health Therapy includes the practice of both dental therapy and dental hygiene.  They provide in consultation with the patient, and/or their legal guardian;

  • Oral examinations
  • Oral disease diagnosis
  • Treatment planning
  • X-rays and other diagnostic tests
  • Dental fillings or restorations
  • Extractions
  • Cleaning, polishing and scaling
  • Preventative treatments such as fissure sealants and fluoride applications
  • Oral health care advice for individual patients, their families and oral health promotion for the wider community
  • Services for special needs patients

Oral Health Therapists work with people of all ages to improve and or maintain their oral health by promoting good oral health practices and treating gum and periodontal diseases. They also work with dentists and specialists providing orthodontic treatment, specialist periodontal, paediatric treatment and dental care for other high needs clients.

Oral Health Therapists are educated in universities often in schools of dentistry and work in a collaborative and consultative relationship with dental and other health professionals to enable holistic oral health care.