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Dentist

Dentists diagnose, treat, prevent and control diseases of the teeth, gum, mouth and jaws.

Also Known As

Doctor

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Dentists (3113) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Dentists (D013) 
  • 2011 NOC: Dentists (3113) 
  • 2016 NOC: Dentists (3113) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Dentists

2006 NOC: 3113

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
INNOVATIVE

Interest in co-ordinating information gathered from examining patients' teeth, gums and surrounding tissue to design bridgework, fit dentures and provide appliances to correct abnormal positioning of the teeth and jaws

OBJECTIVE

Interest in precision working with dental and surgical instruments

social

Interest in mentoring patients by instructing them on oral hygiene to prevent dental problems

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated Dec 19, 2016

In general, dentists:

  • advise patients about oral health care to promote good dental health
  • restore the function and look of damaged teeth
  • remove teeth when needed
  • replace teeth with fixed or removable devices (bridges, partial or full dentures, dental implants)
  • treat diseases of the mouth and adjacent areas
  • move teeth that are out of position
  • diagnose and treat gum disease
  • do surgery on the mouth or jaw and adjacent tissue
  • diagnose and manage disorders of the temporomandibular joint and facial area.

With further training, dentists may specialize in:

  • working with children (pediatric dentistry)
  • correcting facial and dental irregularities (orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics)
  • treating gum disease and bone loss (periodontics and gingival surgeries)
  • removing teeth and diseased tissue, repairing facial and oral trauma (oral and maxillofacial/orthognathic surgery)
  • diagnosing and managing diseases and conditions that affect the mouth and adjacent structures (oral medicine and pathology)
  • preserving diseased teeth through root canals (endodontics)
  • promoting dental health through organized community efforts (public health)
  • restoring natural teeth and replacing missing teeth to improve look and function (prosthodontics)
  • taking and interpreting related x-rays (oral and maxillofacial radiology)
Working Conditions
Updated Dec 19, 2016
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg

Dentists usually work regular weekday hours but may work some weekends and evenings. They must sometimes respond to emergencies after hours.

Dentists use delicate hand tools and power-driven precision instruments. They must wear safety glasses, masks and gloves. They must use proper techniques to prevent and control infection. When taking x-rays and using some materials, they must follow safety guidelines.

Traits & Skills
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Dentists need to possess:

  • good health
  • good eyesight
  • a delicate touch
  • mechanical aptitude and problem-solving skills
  • fine motor skills
  • good people skills (an ability to communicate effectively and put people at ease)
  • an ability to understand and attend to different ages and types of people
  • interest in physiology and pathology of the human body.

They should enjoy finding creative solutions to problems, doing precise work with tools and equipment, and helping people.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2011 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Dentists

2011 NOC: 3113

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 23 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Nov 26, 2021 and Sep 23, 2022.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Perform oral surgery, periodontal surgery and other treatments
Diagnose disease, injury and decay and plan appropriate treatment
Restore, extract and replace diseased and decayed teeth
Examine patients' teeth, gums and surrounding tissue
Clean teeth and instruct patients on oral hygiene
Supervise staff
Write fabrication instructions or prescriptions for use by denturists and dental technicians
Design bridgework, fit dentures and provide appliances
Personal Suitability: Accurate
Health benefits: Health care plan
Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 19, 2016
  • Minimum Education 6 years post-secondary

The minimum educational requirement is 2 years in a bachelor of science program and then a 4-year undergraduate program in Doctor of Dental Surgery, or Doctor of Dental Medicine.


Required Education

The following schools offer programs and courses that meet this occupation’s educational requirements. Other eligible programs and courses may be available.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

University of Alberta

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 19, 2016
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Dentist

Dentists evaluate, diagnose and treat (surgically or non surgically) diseases, disorders and conditions of the mouth (teeth, gums and other supporting structures), the maxillofacial area (upper and lower jaws and joints) and the adjacent and associated structures of the head and neck to maintain and improve a person’s physical, psychological and social health.

Legislation

Under Alberta’s Health Professions Act [pdf] and Dentists Profession Regulation [pdf], registration with the College of Dental Surgeons of Alberta (CDSA) is mandatory. Only registered members may provide restricted activities specified in the Regulation. This includes those who:

  • Meet identified competency requirements and provide professional services directly to the public
  • Teach the practice of the profession to members or students of the profession
  • Supervise registered members
  • Are students who provide services to the public
  • Call themselves dentists

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Dentist.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Dentists may begin private (solo) practice right after they graduate. Partnerships with established dentists and group practices are becoming more popular. Some dentists work for government health services or the Canadian Armed Forces.

Career options outside of dental practice include working as dental educators, researchers or administrators.

In Alberta, 98% of people employed as dentists work in the Health Care and Social Assistance [pdf] industry.

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events that affect overall employment (especially in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities that come up when people leave existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities that come up when new positions are created)
  • size of the occupation

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

In Alberta, the 3113: Dentists occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 4.2% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 110 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 19, 2016

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Dentists

2016 NOC: 3113
Average Wage
$86.79
Per Hour
Average Salary
$129,727.00
Per Year
Average Hours
34.3
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 3113 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

C: Lower Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Lower Reliability, represents a CV of between 15.01% and 33.00% and/or if fewer than 20 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 33% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $184.62 $70.35 $42.74
Overall $20.00 $221.54 $86.79 $42.74
Top $26.71 $336.54 $124.94 $55.00

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

ALL INDUSTRIES
Health Care & Social Assistance

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
39%
39%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
74%
74%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
11%
11%
Vacancy Rate
4%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Health Care and Medical Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Alberta Dental Association and College website: www.dentalhealthalberta.ca

Association of Prosthodontists of Canada (APC) website: www.prosthodontics.ca

Canadian Academy of Endodontics (ACE) website: caendo.org 

Canadian Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (CAPD) website: www.capd-acdp.org

Canadian Academy of Periodontology (CAP) website: www.cap-acp.ca

Canadian Academy of Restorative Dentistry and Prosthodontics (CARDP) website: cardp.ca

Canadian Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (CAOMS) website: www.caoms.com

Canadian Association of Public Health Dentistry (CAPHD) website: www.caphd.ca

Canadian Dental Association (CDA) website: www.cda-adc.ca

Canadian Association of Orthodontists (CAO) website: cao-aco.org

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 15, 2018. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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