Dental Therapist recruitment

In this section you'll find the following: 


SA Dental Service is part of SA Health and provides a range of dental services for eligible children and adults through a variety of clinical settings across the metropolitan and country areas. Some clinics are located in GP + Health Centres, Hospitals, Community Health Centres and some on school grounds.

We also work in partnership with the University of Adelaide to educate and train many of the State’s dental professionals.

Our services are provided through 2 clinical Divisions –

Statewide Dental Services – provides general dental services at clinics across South Australia in the metropolitan and country areas via

  • The School Dental Service – all South Australian children (aged up to 17 years) are eligible.
  • The Community Dental Service – providing eligible adults with a range of general, emergency and denture services.  Adults (or their adult dependents) with a current Commonwealth concession card are eligible to receive care.

Adelaide Dental Hospital – provides Specialist oral health care services and undergraduate dental education in South Australia in conjunction with the University of Adelaide. 

Dental Therapist positions

Dental Therapists in SA Dental Service are classified under the SA Health “Allied Health Professional” (AHP) stream.

The classification levels for Dental Therapist positions are at the AHP1, AHP2 and AHP 3 levels. Within each classification level there are a number of salary increments.

  • AHP 1 & 2 level positions are general DT positions (more responsibility involved with the AHP 2 level positions).
  • AHP 3 level positions are Senior Practitioner roles with responsibility for clinical KPI’s and staff development in the organisation.

The starting classification and increment level for a newly qualified Dental Therapist is at the AHP1 - 01 increment level.

The relevant increment for other candidates is determined having regard to the classification level of the position and the experience/skills of the Dental Therapist.


SA Dental Service recruits Dental Therapists 1-2 times a year (depending on staffing requirements) for the Dental Therapist Candidate Pool. The recruitment process aims to find suitable candidates for permanent and contract Dental Therapist roles at the AHP 1 and AHP 2 levels to fill vacancies which can occur at any time. The candidate pool is explained on page 3.  Senior Practitioner positions are promotional roles which are advertised when a vacancy is available.

Recruitment Process

Step 1

Step 2


Step 4

Lodge Applications Reference checks Interviews Outcome

Successful or Unsuccessful

Step 1 : Application

All vacancies are advertised on the SA Health Careers website Applications for SA Dental Service Dental Therapist positions can only be completed and lodged electronically through this website when the application period is open, therefore email and internet access is required.

The advert contains the electronic application form for applicants to complete to which a brief cover letter and a current resume needs to be attached. Information for candidates  about the role and the application requirements are also provided as attachments,

Step 2 : Reference Checks

All applicants will be required to provide at least two referees for the selection panel to contact. It is important the referees are relevant – ie able to provide comment on a range of questions relating to the candidates Dental Therapy clinical skills and abilities, rather than a character reference. Therefore a Dentist or Dental Therapist colleague who has worked with the candidate within the past 2 years would be in a position to provide clinical comment rather than a Dental Assistant or Receptionist at the clinic / practice. More detailed information on the Role of Referees is provided in the advert.

Step 3 : Interviews

Shortlisted candidates are invited to participate in an interview undertaken by the DT Selection Panel. Interviews can be undertaken in person or via phone where it is difficult for a candidate to attend in person. 

Step 4 : Outcome

  • Successful – included in the Dental Therapist Candidate Pool
  •  Unsuccessful – candidates are welcome to reapply in the next selection process

Dates for the next DT selection process

The previous selection process was undertaken in November 2018. The timeframe for the next selection process will be advertised in mid-April 2019 and advertised on the SA Health Careers website.

Refer to the information on the last page for the SA Health “Job Alert” system to keep updated on the release for this or any Dental Therapist adverts.

Outline of the Dental Therapist Candidate Pool     

  • SA Dental service utilises the Dental Therapist Candidate Pool to fill Dental Therapist vacancies in the organisation
  • As staffing in any organisation is rarely static, vacancies can occur at any time.
  • It is therefore useful to have a pool of candidates to directly approach who have been selected as suitable for employment (via a merit based selection process) to fill vacant positions. This is more efficient than having to conduct a separate selection process each time a vacancy occurs.
  • When vacancies arise the information (including location, description of the role, hours per week etc.) is circulated to the candidates in the pool.
  • All candidates are asked to indicate if they are or are not interested in the available role/s within a 3 day timeframe.
  • Those candidates who are not interested in the position remain in the pool for 12 months and continue to be notified of any available positions for which they can express interest.
  • For the group who indicated interest in the available roles, careful consideration is given to match the vacancy to the skill and experience levels of candidates. Discussions commence with the highest ranked candidate.
  • If it is a role they would like to accept we arrange appointment to the position.

  • If it is a role they decide they are not interested in, the candidate remains in the pool as described above and the next ranked candidate from the group is approached. This process is repeated until the vacancy is filled.

Pre- employment

Candidates who accept an offer of employment will be sent the necessary pre-employment documentation to complete including the screening checks listed below. An offer of employment can only be confirmed if these mandatory checks are satisfactory.

Health Care Worker Immunisation Screening – it is a requirement to provide the SA Dental Service Staff Health Nurse with documented evidence of immunisations and blood test results for immunity against a range of diseases.  Immunization boosters may be required to complete the Pre-employment screening and gain a clearance to work with SA Dental Service.

DCSI Screening Unit check – for Child-related Employment Screening.  National Police Checks are not sufficient to gain employment with SA Dental Service.

Credentialing  -  All dental operators need to be credentialed before they can commence their clinical position. Credentialing is the formal process of checking

….“to verify the qualifications, experience, and professional standing of health care practitioners for the purpose of forming a view about their competence, performance and professional suitability to provide safe, high quality health care services “.

Dental practitioners are asked to provide certified copies of relevant documents to support the declaration made in their application form.

When these clearances are in place, a start date as well as arrangements for induction & orientation are confirmed which includes a clinical program and training in the Titanium client record system (patient charting, recording and appointing system utilised in SA Dental Service)

Recommended action

To keep updated on DT Selection processes we recommend registering for a “Job Alert” on the SA Health Careers website.

Log onto the SA Health careers website

  • When the page is loaded, select the “Job Alert” button on the left hand side.
  • Enter your email address
  • Keywords : Dental
  • Tick the following items to ensure all dental advertisements are drawn to your attention :

Categories : Select All    Locations :   Select All     Work Type : Select All

The job alert will last 90 days and the details can be updated if required.

As positions are advertised, registered users will be sent an email to their nominated email address which will then provide information of the positions available and will provide a link to the position’s online application form.

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