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Careers in Dentistry

Careers in Dentistry

Dentistry is a rewarding career in which practitioners combine knowledge of science and technology with helping patients enhance and maintain their oral health. Today's dentist serves the public in many ways - by providing an essential community health service, by educating the public and by doing useful research.

Dentists are oral health specialists. They are on the front line when it comes to detecting and providing appropriate treatment for many diseases affecting the teeth, tongue, gums, lips and jaws. Dental specialists are involved in restorations, cosmetic enhancements and a wide range of clinical preventative activities.

Over the years, dentists have also been active in the promotion of a variety of community-based preventative programs, such as community water fluoridation and oral cancer screenings. Advancements in oral health over the last 40 years mean that a growing number of older adults are keeping their teeth longer. Dentistry continues to evolve to meet the needs of a changing population and provide new treatments.

The graduates of Canadian dental schools are more representative of the national population than ever before. Women represent approximately 50 percent of the students entering dental faculties, and the cultural and ethnic diversity of Canada is well represented.


The majority of Ontario's more than 8,000 licensed dentists are general practitioners. The others are dental specialists who limit their practice to one of 10 recognized specialities in Ontario:

Dental Anesthesiology
Public Health Dentistry
Oral Medicine / Oral Pathology
Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
Pediatric Dentistry
Oral Radiology

Career Options

The majority of dentists are self-employed, providing graduates with an opportunity to be their own boss and own a dental practice.

Other dentists may work in public health dentistry, including community agencies and those serving northern and aboriginal communities.

List of Professional Affiliations >>
List of Canadian Dental Schools >>