Skip to the main content
This website uses cookies to give you a better online experience. By using this website or closing this message, you are agreeing to our cookie policy. More information
Alberta Supports Contact Centre

Toll Free 1-877-644-9992

Alert

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted legislation and services. Information on this website may not reflect the current situation in Alberta. Please visit alberta.ca for up-to-date information about these impacts.

Dentist

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

  • Avg. Salary N/A
  • Avg. Wage N/A
  • Minimum Education 6 years post-secondary
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 2,900
  • In Demand High
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) 
Interest Codes
The Dentist is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Dentists
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

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

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

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.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
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.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 19, 2016

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

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

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 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 www.dentalhealthalberta.ca.

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
Website: www.dentalhealthalberta.ca

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 D013: Dentists occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.6% from 2016 to 2020. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 38 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

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.

Was this page useful?
Top