Dentistry is a regulated profession in Canada. You need to be licensed as a member of a provincial/territorial regulatory body to practice the profession, or use the title of dentist or dental surgeon.
Each province and territory has a licensing body which grants a license to practice dentistry within its jurisdiction. These regulatory bodies recognize the National Dental Examining Board of Canada (NDEB) certificate.
It’s important for you to have a general overview of how your international qualifications may be viewed in Canada, and to understand the Canadian labour market. It can take considerable time, money, and effort to get licensed to practice dentistry in Canada. Therefore, it’s important to contact the appropriate regulatory body in the province that you intend to work before you leave your home country to understand the licensing requirements.
Before you immigrate:
There are steps that you can take before you immigrate to improve your chances of practicing your profession in Canada.
- Attend the Know Before You Go Webinar Series to learn more about life in Canada.
- Contact the Canadian diplomatic mission closest to you to find out about the employment requirements for the dental profession in Canada.
- Contact the Provincial dental to find more information about the licensing process, and what steps you can take before and after you immigrate.
- Contact the Canadian Dental Association if you need general information on dental occupations in Canada.
- You will need to prove your English or French (depending on your destination province) language competency, or be tested. Even if you speak fluent English or French, it’s helpful to improve your language skills and enroll in language classes while you are in your home country and continue them after you move to Canada.
- Assess you language skills by taking on online self-assessment on the Canadian Language Benchmarks website.
- Gather and organize your official education, work and identity documents while still in your home country. Check with your provincial or territorial regulatory body to find out what documents you need to bring and verify if they need to be translated. You may need to use a professional translation service in Canada.
- Complete a “Certificate of Standing” form. This is required by Canadian provinces and territories. The form must be completed by your current (and any previous) licensing body or the governing authority such as the Ministry of Health. You can get the form from the Canadian regulator’s website or from them directly.
- Understand how the dental profession is practiced in Canada and familiarize yourself with the laws and legislation that govern your profession in the province where you’ll settle.
- Know the name of your job in Canada and make a list of potential employers.
- Find out how to get a driver’s license in Canada and apply for it as soon as you land. It will be useful when you get a job, or even to search for a job.