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Practicing as a dentist in Australia

Australia is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The population of 26 million is highly urbanized and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide.

According to relevant estimations, a dentist in Australia can earn up to around A$200,000 per year. As such, dentists rank among the highest-paid employees in Australia. Check out the statistics at But, deciding to study dentistry in Australia is an easy task. The hard part comes when you get into the application process.

A few things to know before starting the process are:

The ADC is the organization responsible for assessing overseas trained dentists to obtain registration in Australia. The 3 stages of (Australian Dental Council) ADC Exams are:

Step 1 - Initial assessment:

The ADC will initially conduct a paper-based qualification and documentation assessment. You are eligible to undergo the examination procedure if you have completed at least four years of full-time academic study at an approved university, and have registered as a dentist in either your home country or the country you studied.

The initial assessment process involves assessing documents, including professional qualifications, work experience, registration history, and good standing, to determine eligibility to sit the written examination.

The time frame for assessment is approximately 8 weeks.

The cost of the assessment is AUD $610.

Step 2 - Written examination:

Candidates are eligible to sit the written examination following the successful completion of the initial assessment process. The written exam is designed to test knowledge of the science and practice of dentistry and assess the application of clinical judgment and reasoning skills relevant to dental practice in Australia.

The examination can be taken from your home country or Australia.

The overall timeframe for the process of written examination is approximately five months.

The cost of the written exam is AUD $2,000.

The ADC website has a handbook for general dentistry, which details the books and materials one needs to refer to. As per the current recommendation, a significant portion of written exams is scenario-based multiple-choice questions (MCQs). The theory exam is spread over 2 days, with a total of 280 questions in 4 sections (70 MCQs each), to be solved in 2 hours. An aspirant securing grade A or B in all 4 papers is considered passed.

Step 3 - Practical examination:

The practical exam is to assess the candidates and whether they are competent to practice as a dentist in Australia safely.

The examination is held over two days; a technical skills day and a clinical skills day. Exams are held most weeks of the year at the ADC examination center in Australia only.

The overall timeframe for the written examination process is approximately four to seven months.

The cost of the practical exam is AUD $4,500.

One can attempt the practical exams up to 3 years after passing the theory exams.

Upon successful completion of the practical examination, candidates are eligible to apply for registration with the Dental Board of Australia (DBA).

You will also be required to sit a proficiency in English test and undergo a criminal history check. For the English proficiency test, a minimum IELTS score of 7, or a minimum OET score of B, or a minimum PTE Academic score of 65, or a minimum TOEFL iBT score of 94 is essential to finish the student's registration with the DBA.

Finishing the ADC examination only allows one to register with the Dental Board of Australia (DBA), and does not allow one to migrate or work in Australia. One must secure a valid visa to migrate and work in the country. Professionals may also choose to apply for a Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa. For the visa details refer to

On average, it takes about 1.5-2 years to finish the entire process and about INR 8-10 lakhs, including the three exam assessments, registration with DBA, and English Proficiency test, living, and food expense.


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