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March 6 Is National Dentist Day: What Does It Take To Become A Dentist In Canada?

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March 6 Is National Dentist Day: What Does It Take To Become A Dentist In Canada?

Are you contemplating becoming a dentist? Being a dentist can be a very rewarding career path with a multitude of benefits. Whether you are repairing a cavity, doing a simple exam, or finding early signs of cancer that could potentially save a patient's life, as a dentist, you are always actively helping others. You get to eliminate patients' pain and help boost their self-confidence as well. Dentistry is a lucrative occupation within a stable and growing industry, therefore, you will not have to worry too much about the impacts of the economy or whether you will have patients to serve. The advancements and treatments are constantly evolving in the dental industry making for an exciting profession. This article will discuss how you can become a dentist in Canada and the steps you need to take to be successful.

How To Become A Dentist In Canada

Becoming an accredited dentist in Canada is no easy feat. The road to practicing dentistry is an ever-evolving yet rewarding process that requires specialized training and professional development. Outlined are the steps you will need to follow in order to become a licensed Canadian dentist:

Pursuing A Dental Degree

Before you attend dentistry school, you must first complete an undergraduate bachelor’s degree in university. While specific bachelor's degrees are not required for enrolling in dental school, to set yourself up for better success it is better to enroll in a program that is disciplined in math or sciences.  The requirements for Canadian dental schools are different, so ensure you educate yourself on the specific requirements of the school you wish to attend so you can plan your undergraduate degree successfully. A common requirement among all Canadian dentist schools is completing a Dental Aptitude Test (DAT). The Canadian Dental Association administers this exam to test your general academic ability, 2D and 3D visual perception, manual dexterity, and how well you comprehend scientific information. Once you have completed this exam and received the required mark, you will then be accepted into a Canadian school of dentistry.

Time And Financial Commitments To Becoming A Dentist

Attending dentistry school costs money and time. After completing the DAT and being accepted into a university, you will have to attend dentistry school for another four years. After the combined eight years of schooling, between a bachelor's degree and dentistry school, you are certified to practice general dentistry. Many dentists however choose to pursue a dental specialty such as orthodontics, oral surgery, periodontics, or pediatric dentistry. The further requirements of each field vary but can take at least 2-3 additional years to complete. 

Once you have finished your specialty and residency program, you must write the certification examination from the National Dental Specialty Board. The Royal College of Dentists of Canada is the governing body that oversees the exam. Once you pass the exam, you are officially a certified dental specialist in Canada. Further requirements for licensing and registration will vary for each province. 

Tuition fees vary for each Canadian university, however, students should expect to spend anywhere between $15,00-$60,00 per year to attend dentistry school. It is important to note that Canadian tuition fees have been rising in the last few years and will most likely continue to do so. Fortunately, there are financial support options through bursaries, awards, and scholarships on both federal and provincial levels. 

Canadian Dentists Salary

There are variatons between each province when it comes to the salary of a dentist. It also depends on your specialty if you have one, as well as how much experience you have. The average median salary for a Canadian dentist is $120,000. Trending with the highest average salary among dentists is the province of Manitoba followed by Saskatchewan and the lowest-paid provinces are British Columbia and Alberta. 

Follow Your Dream And Become A Dentist

Becoming a dentist in Canada is a huge financial and time commitment. Dentists help patients improve their oral health, relieve them of pain, and improve the look of their smiles to give them a boost of confidence. Dentistry is an exciting and rewarding career path and there is always something new to learn. Staying on top of all the latest advancements that can help make your treatments easier and better for your patients will keep you on your toes. 

Need some career advice on your next dental exam visit? If you are in need of a dental cleaning and dental exam and are looking for some career advice regarding dentistry, book an appointment with Dr.Korol today by calling 1-403-245-9099, or by filling out our online contact form. Our dental office is a leading holistic and biocompatible dental practice in Calgary that offers dental cleanings, teeth whitening, emergency dentistry, and more. Dr. Korol has the experience and expertise to give you advice on how to embark on the rewarding career of becoming a dentist. 


Q: How often should I visit the dentist for a dental cleaning?
A: The Canadian Association of Dentistry recommends patients visit their dentist once every six months.

Q: How long is dental school?
A: Dental school is a minimum of four years after an undergraduate degree. If you wish to specialize, it will take an additional 2-3 years to complete the program. 

Q: Does it matter what bachelor’s degree I take before going to dentistry school?
A: Yes and no. You can apply to dentistry school with any kind of bachelor's degree, however, it is recommended to take a degree disciplined in math or science to set you up for success in dentistry school.


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