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Immigrant dentistFinding a job in Canada may be different than in your home country and you may need help finding job vacancies, updating your resume, writing cover letters, preparing for interviews, and understanding what Canadian employers are looking for.

The National Occupational Classification (NOC) is Canada’s reference on occupations. It provides job descriptions, occupational statistics and labour market information.

Credentials recognition

One of the first things you need to do is to find out the requirements to work as a dentist in Canada. Therefore, after you get your immigrant visa get in touch with the regulatory body that governs the dental profession in the province or territory where you intend to settle in Canada. They will advise you about the required documentation and the fees for assessment. It is highly recommended that you take this step before you arrive in Canada.

It’s also important not to rush your application and only do that once you are fully aware of the licensure procedure and the regulatory body’s expectations from you.  Regardless of your education or experience, you need to get licensed in Canada in order to practice as a dentist. All regulatory bodies recognize the certificate of the National Examining Board of Canada (NDEB), but you have to be graduated from an accredited program in Canada or the USA – and with some conditions, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland)  to be able to write the exam.

If you have graduated from a dental program outside of the mentioned countries, you will be considered internationally educated dentist and have to take a two year qualifying program to sit for the exam. In addition to the application and document verification processes, the NDEB assessment process includes three assessments:

  • Assessment of Fundamental Knowledge (written exam; one day)
  • Assessment of Clinical Skills (using mannequins; two days)
  • Assessment of Clinical Judgment (three exams; one day)

You need to successfully complete all the three steps to be allowed to write the NDEB exams. Once you pass these exams you may apply to the dental regulator in your province to get licensed.

If you’re immigrating to Quebec, you have three years to meet the requirement for proficiency in French language which is mandatory. If you wish to work in a dental specialty, you need additional training consult the dental regulatory body in the region where you intend to practice.

Credentials assessment services

If you are planning to enroll in a college or university program to upgrade your skills, contact the institution in which you plan to study and find out the steps you should take and the credential assessment agency you should use.

World Education Services (WES) – Ontario
International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS) – Alberta
The International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES) – British Columbia

To find more organizations and agencies providing credential evaluation, assessment and qualification recognition services click here. You can also visit the Foreign Credentials Referral Office for information, path-finding and referral services on foreign credential recognition to help internationally trained workers like you succeed and put their skills to work in Canada more quickly.

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Best locations

There is an increasing demand for dentists in Canada because of population growth, an aging population and technological advancement in diagnosis and treatment. Though the demand for dentists is throughout Canada, you may want to consider the fast-growing provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan and rural areas throughout the country.

Also, it is important to consider the availability of bridging or other educational qualifying programs in dentistry when researching and choosing your destination city.

Choosing a City.

Major employers

Dentists in Canada work in private practices or may be employed in hospitals, clinics, public health facilities or universities. Some are employed by local, provincial and federal health authorities or choose to serve in the Canadian Armed Forces.

If you want to explore possible career opportunities outside the dental practice, you may consider working as a dental educator, researcher, administrator or a sales representative.

You can also visit the Canada’s Best Diversity Employers website. This special designation recognizes Canada’s best employers for recent immigrants. These employers offer interesting programs to assist new Canadians in making the transition to a new workplace — and a new life in Canada.