Dentist Recruitment

In this section you'll find the following: 


SA Dental Service is a health unit within the Central Adelaide Local Health Network.  We provide a range of dental services for eligible children and adults through a variety of clinical settings across South Australia in both metropolitan and country areas. Some clinics are located in hospitals or community health centres whilst others are located in school grounds or are discrete dental facilities.   We also work in partnership with the University of Adelaide to educate and train many of the State’s dental professionals, including dentists and dental therapists.

The Service consists of 2 clinical Divisions –

Adelaide Dental Hospital –is a provider of specialist services as well as the centre for undergraduate dental education in South Australia in conjunction with the University of Adelaide.

Statewide Dental Services – provides dental services across South Australia with clinics in the metropolitan area and throughout the country areas of South Australia. The Division has two branches:-

  • School Dental Service – all South Australian children (aged up to 17 years) are eligible for oral health care with the School Dental Service.
  • Community Dental Service – provides eligible adults with a range of general, emergency and removable prosthetic dental services.  Adults (or their adult dependents) with a current welfare recipient card are eligible to receive Community Dental Clinic services.

Dentist positions

Dentists in SA Dental Service are classified under the SA Health Dentist Award.

The classification levels for Dentist positions are at the DO1, DO2, DO3, DO4 and DO5  levels. Within DO1, DO2 and DO3 classification levels there are a number of salary increments.

  • DO1 & DO2 level positions - General Dentist positions (more responsibility involved with the DO2 level positions).
  • DO3 positions - among these are Senior Practitioner / Lead Clinician roles which have responsibility for clinical staff development in the organisation.
  • DO4 - Specialist positions
  • DO5 - Chief Dental Officer role  

The starting classification and increment level for a newly qualified Dentist is at the DO1-1 increment level.

Dentists with 5+ years’ experience will be appointed to the DO1-05 level and will be eligible to apply for the DO2 classification after satisfactory completion of probation and achievement of KPI’s.


SA Dental Service recruits Dentists 1-2 times a year (depending on staffing requirements) for the Dentist Candidate Pool. The recruitment process aims to find suitable candidates for permanent and contract Dentist roles at the DO1 and DO2 levels to fill vacancies which can arise at any time. The candidate pool is explained on page 3.  Positions at the DO3 level and above are promotional roles which are advertised when a vacancy becomes available.

Recruitment Process

Step 1

Step 2


Step 4

Lodge Applications Reference checks Interviews Outcome


Step 1 : Application

All vacancies are advertised on the SA Health Careers website

Applications for SA Dental Service Dentist 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 and attach a brief cover letter and a current resume.

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– i.e. able to provide comment on a range of questions relating to the candidates clinical skills and abilities, rather than a character reference. Therefore a Dentist colleague who is / has worked with the candidate within the past 2 years would likely be in a position to provide comment relevant to the clinical questions asked rather than (eg) a Dental Assistant or Practice Manager.

For final year BDS students it is imperative referees are supervisors /tutors involved in the clinical sessions over the final year and are able to answer questions relating to the skills and abilities of the student required for the Dentist Scope of Practice.

Step 3 : Interviews

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

Step 4 : Outcome

  • Successful – included in the Dentist Candidate Pool
  • Unsuccessful – candidates are welcome to reapply in the next selection round

Dates for the next Dentist selection process

The advert for the next selection process will open on Friday 20th September for a 4 week period closing on Sunday 20th October. The advert will be on the SA Health Careers website as well as

The subsequent interviews for shortlisted candidates will be held on various days across the period 18th – 28th November 2019.

Refer to the information on page 4 for information on the SA Health “Job Alert” system to keep updated on the release of any Dentist adverts.

Outline of the Dentist Candidate Pool    

  • SA Dental service utilises the Dentist Candidate Pool to fill general dentist 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 initially interested in the available role/s within a 3 day timeframe.
  • For those candidates who are not interested in a position they 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, careful consideration is given to match the vacancy to the skill and experience levels of candidates. Discussions commence with the highest ranked candidate.
  • After further discussion with relevant managers to provide more detailed information to assist candidates make a decision, if it is a role they would like to accept we arrange the 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 those interested 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.
  • Working With Children Check – undertaken via the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion (DCSI).  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.

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

Recommended action

To keep updated on Dentist 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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