Dentistry in Canada

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The practice of dentistry in Canada is overseen by the National Dental Examining Board of Canada in conjunction with other agencies, such as the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada and the Royal College of Dentists of Canada. In 2011, there were 18,775 dentists in Canada.[1]


Dentistry is a regulated profession in Canada. In order to practice dentistry, a dentist must obtain a license or permit from the province or territory they wish to practice in. The main requirement to obtain licensure in all Canadian provinces and territories is passing the National Dental Examination Board exams. Several provinces require applicants to complete a jurisprudence and ethics examination which tests knowledge related to local laws, ethics, and regulation of the profession.[2]

NDEB examination[edit]

Candidates seeking to practice dentistry in Canada must successfully complete a two-part examination administered by the National Dental Examining Board of Canada (NDEB). Dental students at accredited Canadian and American dental schools are permitted to take the examination no earlier than 3 months prior to graduation, which usually means the March of their graduating year. Upon successful completion of the exam, the NDEB issues a certificate to the candidate.[3]

To be eligible to write the NDEB exam, candidates must have:

  1. Graduated from an accredited dental school in Canada, the United States, Australia (since 2011), New Zealand (since 2011), or Ireland (since 2012) [4] or
  2. Passed the equivalency process for graduates of other dental schools (foreign trained dentists).[5]

Qualifying (advanced standing) programs and the equivalency process for foreign-trained dentists[edit]

Foreign-trained dentists can obtain a DMD or DDS from an accredited dental school in Canada or the United States by enrolling in a qualifying or advanced standing program. Typically, the program would consist of the last two to three years of a typical dental program.

The dental schools that offer these programs in Canada are:

In 2011, the equivalency process for foreign trained dentists was launched.

The process consists of three exams:

  1. Assessment of fundamental knowledge written exam.
  2. Assessment of clinical skills exam: a practical exam on typodonts and manikins.
  3. Assessment of clinical judgement written exam.

The alternative route of going through a qualifying program or advanced standing program still exists.[14]

When it first launched in 2011, only 44 candidates passed the equivalency process. In 2014 over 260 candidates passed.,[15][16]

Over saturation of dentists in Canada[edit]

According to the Canadian Dental Association, the population-to-dentist ratio has been dropping in all provinces and territories.[17] This dentist glut is resulting in growing competition and tough times for dentists especially in urban centres like Toronto.[18][19]

Corporate dentistry in Canada[edit]

Corporate dentistry is steadily growing in Canada.[20] Dental corp Canada is the largest dental corporation in Canada. It started in 2011 and currently[when?] owns over 175 dental offices nationwide. Its first Canadian partners were Dr. David Mady of Windsor, Ontario, and Dr. Larry Podolsky of Toronto.[21] Altima Dental was established in 1993 and has over 30 dental offices.[22]


The first woman to be licensed as a dentist in Canada was Emma Gaudreau Casgrain in 1898. She was trained by her husband, dental surgeon Henri-Edmond Casgrain, an innovator in dentistry.


  1. ^ "I want to be a dentist. What will my salary be?". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2016-02-22. 
  2. ^ "General Dentist Registration". Retrieved 2016-02-22. 
  3. ^ "The National Dental Examining Board of Canada |". Retrieved 2016-02-22. 
  4. ^ "Graduates of Accredited Dental Programs | The National Dental Examining Board of Canada". Retrieved 2016-09-16. 
  5. ^ "The National Dental Examining Board of Canada |". Retrieved 2016-02-22. 
  6. ^ "DDS Qualifying Program requirements". Dalhousie University. Retrieved 2016-03-05. 
  7. ^ "DDS Advanced Placement - School of Dentistry - University of Alberta". Retrieved 2016-03-05. 
  8. ^ "About the IDDCP Program | Faculty of Dentistry". Retrieved 2016-03-05. 
  9. ^ "International Dentist Advanced Placement Program (IDAPP) | University of Toronto Faculty of Dentistry". Retrieved 2016-03-05. 
  10. ^ "University of Manitoba - Faculty of Dentistry - International Dentist Degree Program". Retrieved 2016-03-05. 
  11. ^ "Qualifying Programs". Retrieved 2016-03-05. 
  12. ^ anonymous. "International Dental Graduates and Transfers | 2015–2016 eCalendar - McGill University". Retrieved 2016-03-05. 
  13. ^ "Graduates of International Non-Accredited Dental Programs | ACFD". Retrieved 2016-03-05. 
  14. ^ "Graduates of Non-Accredited Dental Programs | The National Dental Examining Board of Canada". Retrieved 2016-09-16. 
  15. ^ "The National Dental Examining Board of Canada |". Retrieved 2016-02-22. 
  16. ^ "dentistryincanadaorg". dentistryincanadaorg. Retrieved 2016-02-22. 
  17. ^ "Home". Dentist Supply in Canada. Retrieved 2016-03-01. 
  18. ^ "Glut of dentists means tough times for them, good deals for customers, 'doom and gloom' report says". National Post. Retrieved 2016-03-01. 
  19. ^ Ballingall, Alex (2013-04-08). "Higher numbers of dentists mean practices are resorting to glitz, glam and old fashioned gimmicks in a skirmish for customers". The Toronto Star. ISSN 0319-0781. Retrieved 2016-03-01. 
  20. ^ "Canadian Dental Association: The Dental Profession". Retrieved 2016-03-05. 
  21. ^ Innovasium. "dentalcorp". dentalcorp. Retrieved 2016-03-05. 
  22. ^ 416-769-5250, InfoEmpire Inc.,. "Altima Dental - Cosmetic Dentistry in Ontario & Alberta". Altima Dental. Retrieved 2016-03-05. 

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