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

  • Avg. Salary $154,564.00
  • Avg. Wage $85.25
  • Minimum Education 6 years post-secondary
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 2,100
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As


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) 
Interest Codes
The Dentist is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).

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


Interest in precision working with dental and surgical instruments


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

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 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 More

Updated Dec 19, 2016

In general, dentists:

  • promote good dental health by advising patients about oral health care
  • restore the function and appearance of damaged teeth
  • remove teeth when necessary
  • replace teeth with fixed or removable devices (bridges, partial and full dentures)
  • treat diseases of the mouth and adjacent areas
  • move teeth that are out of position
  • diagnose and treat diseases of the gums
  • perform surgical operations on the mouth or jaw and adjacent tissue
  • diagnose and manage disorders of the temporomandibular joint and facial area.

With additional training, dentists may specialize in:

  • pediatric dentistry (working with children)
  • orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics (correcting facial and dental irregularities)
  • periodontics (treating diseases in the supporting structures of the teeth)
  • oral and maxillofacial surgery (removing teeth and diseased tissue)
  • oral medicine and pathology (diagnosing and managing diseases and conditions that affect the mouth and adjacent structures)
  • endodontics (preserving diseased teeth by root canal therapy)
  • public health (preventing dental disease and promoting dental health through organized community efforts)
  • prosthodontics (restoring natural teeth and replacing missing teeth)
  • oral and maxillofacial radiology (taking and interpreting dental and facial x-rays).
Working Conditions
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Dentists usually work regular weekday hours but may work some weekend and evening hours. After-hours work is sometimes required for emergency care.

Dentists use delicate hand tools and power-driven precision instruments. They must use safety glasses, masks, gloves, and proper techniques for sterilization and infection prevention and control. Safety precautions also must be observed when taking x-rays and using some materials.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Dentists need the following characteristics:

  • good health
  • good eyesight
  • delicacy of touch
  • a marked degree of mechanical aptitude and ability
  • finger and manual dexterity
  • resourcefulness
  • good interpersonal skills
  • ability to understand and handle different ages and types of people.

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

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 19, 2016

The minimum educational requirement is two years in a bachelor of science then a four 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

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 19, 2016


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.


Under Alberta's Health Professions Act and Dentists Profession Regulation, registration with the Alberta Dental Association and College is mandatory if you 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 or supervise registered members or students who provide services to the public. Registered members, who are authorized by the College, provide restricted activities specified in the Regulation. Only registered members may call themselves dentists.

What You Need

Registration as a Dentist requires successful completion of: (1) an approved doctor of dental surgery or doctor of dental medicine degree, and (2) approved examinations. Applicants who have been out of practice for a period of time also may have to demonstrate that they are currently competent to practice. There are additional education and examination requirements for registration as an endodontist, oral and maxillofacial surgeon, orthodontist and dentofacial orthopedist, pediatric dentist, periodontist, prosthodontist, oral pathologist and oral medicine specialist, oral and maxillofacial radiologist, or public health dentist. Graduates of dental programs outside of North America may choose to enter a two-year qualifying program or may apply to the National Dental Examining Board of Canada directly. The National Dental Examining Board of Canada will determine whether applicants are eligible to take the National Examining Board of Canada examination without completing the qualifying program. For official, detailed information about registration requirements, contact the Alberta Dental Association and College or visit their website at

Working in Alberta

Dentists who are registered and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for registration in Alberta. For more information, see "What if I am already certified in another province or territory?" and the Alberta regulatory authority (below).

To learn about certification for internationally educated dentists, see Dentist Registration Process.

Contact Details

Alberta Dental Association and College
101, 8230 - 105 Street
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada  T6E 5H9
Phone number: 780-432-1012
Toll-free phone number (within Alberta): 1-800-843-3848
Fax number: 780-433-4864

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Directly upon graduation, dentists may engage in private (solo) practice. However, partnerships with established dental practitioners and group practices are becoming increasingly popular. Some dentists are employed by municipal, provincial and federal health services or the Canadian Armed Forces.

Career possibilities 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 in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the  Health Care and Social Assistance industry)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 2,400 Albertans are employed in the Dentists occupational group. This group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.6% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 38 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 19, 2016

According to the 2017 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Dentists occupational group earned on average from $61.19 to $113.94 an hour. The overall average was $85.25 an hour. For more information, see the Dentists wage profile.

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:

Association of Prosthodontists of Canada (APC) website:

Canadian Academy of Endodontics (ACE) website:

Canadian Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (CAPD) website:

Canadian Academy of Periodontology (CAP) website:

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

Canadian Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (CAOMS) website:

Canadian Association of Public Health Dentistry (CAPHD) website:

Canadian Dental Association (CDA) website:

Canadian Association of Orthodontists (CAO) website:

For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Supports Centre near you.

Updated Mar 27, 2014. 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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