Practicing as a dentist

Overview

The Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada (CDAC) recognizes Australian Dental Council (ADC) accreditation for all general dentistry degrees, including postgraduate Doctor of Dental Surgery/Medicine (DDS/DMD) and undergraduate Bachelor of Dental Surgery/Science (BDS/BDSc).

This means that Canadian graduates of an Australian dental school can return to practice in Canada via the same process outlined below as graduates of a Canadian dental school, which includes passing the National Dental Examination Board (NDEB) written and clinical exams and registering with your provincial dental regulatory authority.

Steps to Certification

Pathway to Certification
1. Graduate with a general dentistry degree whose accreditation is recognized by the CDAC. All the dentistry degrees featured by OzTREKK are accredited with the CDAC.

2. Complete the NDEB’s certification process:

  • Apply through the NDEB portal
  • Submit proof of graduating with an accredited degree in general dentistry (your original transcript)
  • Register, study for, and pass the NDEB written and clinical exams (taken a maximum of 3 times each)
  • NDEB app fee = $450, written exam = $,1000, OSCE = $1,000 (as of February 2020)

Once you’ve passed the exam and have provided proof of your graduation, you will be certified and a certificate will be issued.

3. Register with your provincial dental regulatory authority (below).

Provincial Requirements

While all Canadian provinces require you to have Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada certification in order to become licensed to practice, each province has additional licensing requirements. Check the website for your provincial regulatory body:

College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia (CDSBC)
Alberta Dental Association and College (ADA&C)
College of Dental Surgeons of Saskatchewan (CDSS)
Manitoba Dental Association (MDA)
Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario (RCDSO)
Ordre des dentists du Québec (ODQ)
New Brunswick Dental Society (NBDS)
Dental Council of Prince Edward Island (DCPEI)
Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia (PDBNS)
Newfoundland Dental Board (NLDB)
NWT Dept of Health and Social Services: professional_licensing@gov.nt.ca
Yukon Consumer Services: (consumer@gov.yk.ca with CV)

FAQs

What are the average marks for entry?

Average marks for entry varies by university. Most eligible candidates have a high school diploma with an overall average of approximately 93%. Click on a university above for university-specific entry requirements.

Which university is best?

The Australian universities OzTREKK represent are ranked highly by higher education ranking systems. Each dental program is known by the quality of its education, its state-of-the-art facilities, and by its specialties e.g., rural and remote dentistry. Deciding which program to undertake is usually a personal choice, but chatting with OzTREKK’s dentistry admissions officer is usually the best place to start!

What’s the difference between bachelor / master / doctor in the degree title?

Bachelor dentistry degrees are considered undergraduate degrees and are open to students who have a high school diploma. Master (or doctor) dentistry degrees are considered graduate degrees; therefore, candidates must hold an undergraduate degree to qualify for entry.

While the Doctor of Dental Surgery / Doctor of Dental Medicine has “doctor” in its title, it is considered a master’s degree. A doctorate degree is considered a research degree (PhD).

Both bachelor and master (or doctor) dentistry degrees allow the graduate to practice dentistry.

What are immunization requirements?

For a comprehensive breakdown of what immunization requirements are all about, be sure to check out this excellent blog post.

Each university/program will have their own specific immunization requirements that you will need to review carefully. Please visit the following website in addition to the Clinical Placement Check site!

Additionally, if you are unclear, you should check in with your OzTREKK Admissions Officer if you have any questions regarding what is required by your program.

Below, we have included some general guidelines that you will need to have completed:

  • Hepatitis B Vaccine
  • Hepatitis B Serology
  • Varicella Vaccine
  • Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis Vaccine
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella Vaccine
  • Influenza Vaccine
  • Tuberculosis screening

 

You don’t meet Melbourne’s DDS prerequisites

The University of Melbourne’s DDS prerequisites are quite strict and require that you’ve completed approved courses in human anatomy, human physiology and biochemistry to be eligible to apply.

1. Check Melbourne’s prerequisites
To see if your courses meet the prerequisites, please go to the University of Melbourne’s prerequisites page. Select the drop-down menu titled “List of assessed subjects” and click “International” to download the current list of subjects. Please note this list is updated regularly.

2. Have your courses assessed
If you find that the anatomy, physiology and/or biochemistry courses that you have completed are not found on this chart, you will need to have these courses assessed by submitting a Prerequisite Subject Assessment Form, including full course outlines for each course you want assessed. You are encouraged submit this form well in advance of applying so you can plan accordingly.

When assessing for the human anatomy prerequisite, the university will be looking to see that the course(s) being assessed included a lab component with human cadaveric materials. So you’ll want to make sure that your courses included such a component, and that it is referenced in the course outlines you submit for assessment.

3. Enroll in the missing prerequisite(s)
Melbourne will allow students to take non-award courses during the application season to make up the prerequisites they are missing. This means you can submit your application early in the year with your interim transcript and proof of enrollment into the prerequisite course. Before enrolling in any prerequisite course, we advise checking with either your admissions officer or the university to make sure the course will satisfy the prerequisite. Usually, Melbourne requires students to complete the course(s) by November.

If you haven’t completed the prerequisite course by the time offers are issued, then the university will issue a conditional offer. When you have successfully completed the required anatomy/physiology/biochemistry course(s), your final transcript can be submitted, and the conditions will be lifted.

Your DAT is too low or is no longer valid

If you don’t meet the minimum requirements on your DAT, OzTREKK is unable to submit the application to the universities. As soon as the university receives an ineligible DAT, the application is deemed unsuccessful.

1. Resit the DAT
If the DAT sit date is coming up in Canada, you can re-sit the test and hope to receive an eligible score. If you are re-sitting the DAT, make sure that you will receive the official scores before the university application deadline. With the Canadian Dental Association, you can write the DAT twice per year. The American Dental Association allows students to write it more frequently, so we often have students take the test in the United States.

2. Apply to another dentistry program
Consider applying to a dental program that doesn’t require the DAT. For dentistry, this means you can apply to the following undergraduate programs:

If you have specific questions about these degrees, please email dentistry@oztrekk.com and we will be happy to assist.

If you haven’t written the DAT, or your DAT is too low or no longer valid, but you  have a completed degree, you may be eligible to apply to University of Otago. Please note, Otago has strict prerequisites, so we encourage you to check with OzTREKK’s dentistry admissions officer to determine if you’re eligible.

How many places are there for international dentistry students?

Please note the number of places listed are estimates given to OzTREKK by the universities and are subject to change from year to year.

Charles Sturt University: 10
Griffith University: 25
James Cook University: 15
University of Melbourne: 25–30
University of Queensland: 40
University of Sydney: 45+
University of Western Australia: 6
University of Otago: 10

Do the undergraduate-entry dentistry programs require the DAT?

The undergraduate-entry programs do not require applicants to write the DAT. Applicants should aim for the highest GPA they can attain, and in some cases, interview preparation.

Can I do a direct transfer into an Australian dental program?

Unfortunately, the listed dental schools will not accept a direct transfer; however, there is the option to apply for credit for your courses for the undergraduate-entry dental programs. Please note, though, that receiving credit is not always guaranteed.

Can I practice in Canada with an Australian dental degree?

The process to practice dentistry after graduating from an Australian dental school is straightforward. The Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada has a mutual recognition with the Australian Dental Council since 2010, meaning that since then they have recognized one another’s accreditation. This means that after graduating from an accredited Australian dental school, Canadians can then take the same National Dental Examining Board of Canada (NDEB) written and OSCE examinations that graduates of Canadian dental schools take to become licensed to practice dentistry back in Canada, without having to undertake a bridging program or other additional requirements to become licensed.

Pathway to Certification

  1. Create an online application through NDEB Portal and register for the exam.
  2. Provide original transcript showcasing your graduation date.
  3. Once you’ve passed the exam and have provided proof of your graduation, you will be certified and a certificate will be issued.
  4. You will then follow the steps to receive provincial licensure.

For more information about the process, please visit our Practicing dentistry in Canada page.