Defence Dental Services

Defence Dental Services provide oral health care to maintain all NZDF service personnel in a state of Dental Fitness in order to enable service personnel to deploy on operations.
This section talks about how the NZDF can help you with your dental health, how we assess your Dental Fitness and Dental Readiness and the things you need to do if you are posted.

Defence Dental Services

Dental Personal Care Plan

Defence Dental Services work with you to develop a Personal Care Plan, to determine the most appropriate oral health care strategy for you.  

The plan gives advice on brushing and flossing techniques suited to your dental health condition and other advice to maintain your oral health.  

The Personal Care Plan covers a period of 12 months. It is important that you follow the advice as provided in the plan to ensure you are Dental Fit.


To make sure you are ready to do your role, the NZDF has a dental grading system that is aimed to determine the risk of you having a oral health dental problem while on operations.

NZDF oral health professionals will check and grade your:

  • Dental Fitness: A state of oral health which, once attained and maintained, ensures that you are fit to carry out all military duties without deterioration in oral health.  

  • Dental Readiness: A predictive assessment of the likelihood that you will suffer a dental problem or experience deterioration in oral health whilst deployed.

Most people will have no problems. However there are two occasions when you will have an ‘unfit’ dental grade. These are:

  • You are currently undergoing treatment, or

  • You have gone past your dental recall date and have not had a dental examination.  Your dental grade will automatically default to ‘unfit’.  You will need to contact your Regional Dental Service to make an appointment.

Your dental grade is updated at the time of yourthe dental examination and your HR record is automatically updated overnight.

If the grade has not updated overnight, you should contact the Defence Service Helpdesk and if you have any queries about your dental grading then please contact your Regional Dental Service.

Dental care during postings

Postings – general

If you are posted within NZ, you will have your posting location and unit updated on the NZDF HR system, which will automatically update the dental patient records with your new posting unit and location.  

You will then be reassigned a new Dental Region (if you are posted to a new base or camp outside your current region).  For example, a posting from Whenuapai to Ohakea, will result in a Dental Region change from Northern Dental Region to Central Dental Region.

You should then make any dental enquiries to their new dental region hub.  

As patient records are now electronic, there is no longer any requirement to ‘post’ physical records to the receiving dental region.

Overseas Dental Care

If you are posted overseas please contact your Base/Camp Dental Centre in your region to make an appointment to receive information on your overseas dental care provisions for you and your accompanying dependants.

Tour of Duty

From time to time you may spend long periods of time away from your normal posting unit and location to work or train in another NZDF base or camp.

If you know you will be away from your normal posting location for long periods at a time (e.g. 3 months or more) and you are undergoing dental treatment, or you know you have a recall date that falls over the period, you are able to have your assigned dental centre changed to the locality where you are spending the most time.

If you want to change your assigned dental centre then please contact your Regional Dental Service.  


If you are taking release from the NZDF, you will need to make an appointment with your dental centre 3 months before your release date.  This will enable time to complete any dental treatment that is required.

It is important you undertake your final dental examination prior to your release date.  

If you are based overseas and taking release and you do not wish to return to NZ, a final dental check may be arranged at your overseas location.

If you are on LWOP overseas and taking release, you may sign a waiver of your final dental examination.

NOTE:  NZDF does not provide dental care after your terminal date.

Common dental questions

I am posted; do I need to notify anyone in Dental?

No, the new HRMIS automatically updates the dental patient records with your new posting unit and location, which in turn updates your assigned dental centre to the region you will be posted to.   

I am posted with my family overseas. What do I do?

It is important that you and your family are dentally assessed prior to leaving NZ.  Please go to the postings / TOD / Release page on the ILP, and click on the overseas posting link for information on getting dentally assessed.  In addition your local dental centre will be happy to advise on the process.

I am going on a course in another base / camp, can I make a dental appointment with the dental centre while I am based there?

If you are away and need dental care (e.g. urgent treatment) then you are able to make an appointment at your nearest NZDF dental centre.  Please contact the Regional Dental Hub.

Am I able to contact a dental centre that is not a hub for a dental enquiry?

You are able to contact any of the dental centres, however the Regional Dental Hub (Philomel, Linton, Trentham and Burnham) has a fulltime receptionist employed who will be able to respond to your call or email.  The other dental centres when seeing patients will have their telephones switched to the Hub and your call may not be immediately answered if they are seeing a patient at the time. It is recommended that you contact the Hub dental centre for any general enquiries.

I have a claim for dental treatment, who do I give this to?

Claims for dental treatment should be provided to your Regional Dental Service.  Please make sure the claim details the circumstances of the treatment and your contact details. Please also ensure you keep copies of your receipts.