How Much Is Dental Therapist Salary in Nigeria? Qualification & Job Description

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Following the generally poor outlook we Nigerians have about our health, especially on preventive health measures, the importance of a dental therapist’s skills cannot be overemphasized.

But as important as their job is not many people have heard of dental therapists, as they are usually mistaken to be the same with their counterparts – dentists.

But they are not and our article will outline their similarities and differences while paying keen attention to dental therapists’ salaries.

We will also look at the Qualifications Required to Become a Dental Therapist in Nigeria and factors that can influence their salary outlook.

Therefore, if you are keen to understand the working environment of dental therapists or thinking about pursuing a profession in this field, our article will serve as a valuable guide.

This piece will help you understand the primary duties of the position, the abilities required for success, and the dental therapist’s salary in Nigeria.

What Does a Dental Therapist Do?

A dental therapist is a medical practitioner who provides preventative and general dentistry treatments. Although they have some similar duties, oral health therapists and dentists have rather different functions.

Typically, oral health therapists operate in more isolated areas with limited access to general dentistry. While dentists are capable of performing a greater range of procedures, including root canals, wisdom tooth extractions, and cavity fillings, they provide less specialized services.

On occasion, dentists may supervise oral health therapists to make sure the calibre of their work satisfies industry standards.

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Roles and Responsibilities of a Dental Therapist

Among the duties you may have as a dental therapist are:

  • Assessing a patient’s dental background and making suggestions for appropriate dental care.
  • Performing dental examinations
  • Executing regular restorative procedures
  • Performing preventative dental procedures.
  • Tooth extraction, implant advice, and implant maintenance
  • Sending patients, as needed, to other medical specialists and dental specialists.
  • If you provide emergency or after-hours dentistry, you may need to work evening or weekend hours in addition to your regular 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. office hours as a dental therapist.
  • It’s possible to travel between nearby dental offices, and part-time work is frequently offered.

Qualifications Required to Become a Dental Therapist in Nigeria

Educational Requirements

To become a dental therapist in Nigeria, one must complete a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Dental Therapy from an accredited health institution. This typically involves three years of academic and clinical training.

Additionally, successful completion of the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE) with credits in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics is required for admission.

Licensing and Certifications

After completing their HND, candidates must register with the Dental Therapists Registration Board of Nigeria. This involves passing a professional examination that certifies them to practice as dental therapists within the country.

Your level of education and certifications also influence dental therapist salary.

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How Many Years to Study Dental Therapy in Nigeria?

He must have been trained in an accredited institution for 4-5 years have done a mandatory 1-year internship and national youth service and is registered and licensed by the Dental Therapists Registration Board of Nigeria.

Factors Influencing Dental Therapist Salary

Educational Level and Specialized Training

Higher qualifications and specialized training can lead to better job positions and higher dental therapist salaries. Dental therapists who pursue further studies or certifications in specialized areas of dental care often enjoy a salary boost.

Geographic Location

Salaries can vary significantly between urban and rural areas. Typically, urban centers offer higher salaries due to the increased demand for dental services and higher living costs.

Sector of Employment

Working in the private sector generally offers one a higher dental therapist salary than the public sector. However, public sector jobs might have additional benefits like job security and pensions, which can be valuable long-term.

Level of Experience

Dental therapists with more experience usually make more money than those with less training. Years of real-world experience help them not only hone their talents but also provide them the ability to shift into higher-paying roles or bargain for greater pay.

Financial Situation

The nation’s overall economic situation influences salary scales. While economic growth might result in higher healthcare spending and thus higher compensation for dental therapists, economic downturns may cause salary increases to peak.

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Dental Therapist Salary In Nigeria

Starting Salaries for New Graduates

The starting salary for newly graduated dental therapists in Nigeria generally ranges from NGN 80,000 to NGN 120,000 per month. This figure can vary depending on the employer and the region where they practice.

Salary Ranges Based on Experience and Location

As dental therapists gain experience, their earning potential increases. Mid-career professionals can earn between NGN 150,000 and NGN 250,000 per month.

In major urban centers like Lagos or Abuja, dental therapist salaries can be on the higher end of this range due to higher costs of living and greater demand for dental services.

Comparison with Other Healthcare Professionals

Salaries for dental therapists in Nigeria are competitive with other similar healthcare roles, such as dental technologists and dental hygienists, but generally lower than those of dentists who have more extensive training and responsibilities.

Is Dental Therapy a Hard Course?

Dental hygiene and therapy is a challenging degree, with varying levels of student difficulty. It is a medical course with several follow-up courses. You need to be good in sciences to thrive well in the course.

Dental Therapist vs Dentist

The range of services that each profession provides is where the primary distinction between a dental therapist and a dentist is found. Like dental hygienists, dental therapists are exclusively licensed to provide specific dental services, such as some restorative and preventative procedures.

Where is a dentist does everything a dental therapist is not qualified to do like extractions, root canals, crown placement on adult teeth, or other more involved dental operations. Licensed dentists can only perform these procedures.

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What is a dental therapist’s salary in the UK?

How much does a Dental therapist make in the United Kingdom? The average dental therapist salary in the United Kingdom is £44,975 per year or £23.06 per hour.

Entry-level positions start at £39,003 per year while most experienced workers make up to £70,173 per year.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Dental Therapist a doctor?

Dental therapists are not provided with the same level of clinical expertise and in-depth training as dentists. However, some dentists accept dental therapists into their practices as procedural support because they are capable of doing some complex treatments.

What is the role of a dental therapist in Nigeria?

Dental therapists are the main providers of oral healthcare; they are qualified and authorized to offer patients, including children and young adults, fundamental clinical, educational, and treatments.

What is a dental therapy course all about?

The fundamentals of cavity and repair design, as well as the proper choice and use of direct restorative materials, will be emphasized. Activities conducted in the classroom center on the fundamental information and abilities needed to manage dental conditions such as non-carious tooth surface loss and dental caries.

Is dentistry lucrative in Nigeria?

Because of their great demand, the career is viewed as lucrative in Nigeria. They can therefore earn a large income from their practice and receive the same compensation as medical doctors. Since they are experts, they are eligible for additional benefits.


Becoming a dental therapist or any form of therapist may not be popular in Nigeria, but so was going to the gym or becoming a gym instructor, but now it’s all the rave.

So if it’s really what you would love to do, you should give it everything you’ve got and the customers will always find you as long as you are good enough.

So do not just stop at getting the required education, continue to invest in yourself and your career as a dental therapist, as it will eventually compound.

Go for training and continue to hone your skills, develop a system that helps you market yourself either by sharing your story on your social media pages or any other means.

And when the opportunity parents you’d be ready for the job and the fat paycheck! Good luck.


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