Registration Requirements

Canada has a dental faculty accreditation system. Accreditation is a peer review process that measures education programs and hospital dental services against predetermined national requirements.

Recognized accreditation services are provided by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada (CDAC). In the United States, the same function is performed through the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) of the American Dental Association. An agreement exists between CDAC and CODA by which there is a system for the mutual recognition of dental training.

If your dental training was outside of Canada, the United States, Australia (Australian candidates must have graduated on or after March 31, 2010), New Zealand (New Zealand candidates must have graduated on or after December 14, 2011) or Ireland (Irish candidates must have graduated on or after Dec. 5, 2012) you are considered to be “internationally trained.”

For specialists, only accredited Canadian and U.S. training is recognized. See section ‘Registration Requirements for Specialists’.

You will be required to successfully complete either a full-time, two-year qualifying program or the National Dental Examining Board of Canada (NDEB) Equivalency Process if you are seeking registration/licensure as a general practitioner.

These two paths are the only means by which you can become eligible to take the Canadian national examination administered by the NDEB, which is a pre-requisite for licensure/registration in Canada.

The qualifying programs are known by several names, including

  • degree completion or advanced standing program
  • internationally trained dentists program
  • international dentist advanced placement program.

Many universities in Canada offer these programs. You will have to apply for university admission and pass the appropriate admissions tests. These tests assess scholastic and dental knowledge, as well as language proficiency in English or French.

In Quebec, the government concluded a special recognition accord with France by which French diplomas in dentistry from identified universities are recognized by the dental licensing board of Québec called Ordre des dentistes du Quebec (ODQ). For more information on licensing through that accord, please consult the ODQ website at www.ordredesdentistesduquebec.qc.ca

For candidates who have earned their dentistry degrees outside Quebec and who do not meet the requirements of the provincial Charter of the French Language for appropriate knowledge of the French language but who meet all other criteria for practising dentistry, you may obtain a temporary permit valid for up to one year. This temporary permit will be granted by ODQ, accompanied by a registration form for the French examination administered by the Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF).

This temporary permit may be renewed up to three times, subject to OQLF`s authorization. Candidates must take the OQLF examination after each renewal and must obtain a passing mark by the deadline in order to be granted an ODQ permit to practise.

A list of American schools with qualifying or advanced standing programs can be found on the American Dental Association website at www.ada.org.