A "Dentist" is a healthcare professional specialized in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and conditions of the oral cavity. Dentists are trained to perform a wide range of dental care services, including but not limited to:

  1. Diagnostic Services: This includes oral examinations, X-rays, and diagnostics to identify dental problems such as cavities, gum disease, and oral cancer.
  2. Preventive Care: Dentists provide cleanings, fluoride treatments, sealants, and advice on proper oral hygiene practices to prevent dental disease.
  3. Restorative Treatments: They repair damaged or decayed teeth using fillings, crowns, bridges, and implants. Restorative treatments aim to restore the function and appearance of the teeth.
  4. Cosmetic Procedures: Many dentists offer cosmetic services to improve the appearance of teeth and smiles, such as whitening, veneers, and bonding.
  5. Orthodontics: Some dentists are trained in orthodontics, which involves diagnosing, preventing, and correcting misaligned teeth and jaws, often using braces or other corrective devices.
  6. Periodontal Care: They treat gum disease, from mild gingivitis to more severe periodontitis, often involving scaling, root planning, and sometimes surgical interventions.
  7. Oral Surgery: Dentists perform surgical procedures, including tooth extractions, bone grafting, and in some cases, corrective jaw surgeries.
  8. Endodontics: This specialty within dentistry focuses on treating diseases of the dental pulp, most commonly performing root canal therapy.
  9. Prosthodontics: Dentists specializing in prosthodontics deal with the design, manufacture, and fitting of artificial replacements for teeth and other parts of the mouth.

To practice dentistry in Canada, individuals must complete a rigorous educational and licensing process that ensures they are qualified to provide a wide range of dental care services. Here's an overview of the degrees and training required for dentists in Canada:

  1. Undergraduate Education: Aspiring dentists typically start their journey with an undergraduate degree. While a specific major is not always required, their education must include prerequisite courses in sciences such as biology, chemistry, and physics to prepare for dental school admission. Some dental programs may accept students after two or three years of undergraduate studies, but a completed bachelor's degree is often preferred or required by many institutions.
  2. Dental Degree: The core of dental education is a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree, obtained from an accredited dental school. In Canada, both DDS and DMD degrees are considered equivalent and take four years to complete. These programs provide comprehensive training in dental science, including diagnostics, preventive care, treatment procedures, and hands-on clinical practice.
  3. Licensing: After earning their dental degree, graduates must pass the National Dental Examining Board of Canada (NDEB) examinations to become licensed to practice dentistry in Canada. The NDEB certification process assesses the candidate's knowledge, skills, and abilities at a level expected of a newly graduated dentist to ensure public safety.
  4. Residency or Further Training (Optional): While not mandatory for general practice, some dentists choose to pursue additional training through residency programs or specialized postgraduate programs. Specializations, such as orthodontics, periodontics, or oral surgery, require two to six years of additional training and certification.
  5. Continuing Education: To maintain their licensure and stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in dental care, dentists in Canada are required to participate in ongoing continuing education activities throughout their careers.

The pathway to becoming a dentist in Canada is designed to ensure that dental professionals are well-equipped with the knowledge, skills, and ethical foundation necessary to provide high-quality oral health care to their patients.

Still have questions?

Please contact our office and we'll be happy to address any questions you may have.