Access to the Dental Profession in Ontario

The Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario (College) regulates the dentistry profession in the province of Ontario, which passed the first Dental Act in the world into law on March 4, 1868. The College is responsible for:

  • setting the education and other qualifications necessary to enter the profession
  • setting standards of professional practice for the dental profession
  • setting ethical standards
  • investigating complaints for people who feel that the standards have not been met
  • taking appropriate disciplinary action as necessary
  • protecting the public’s right to quality dental services, and
  • providing leadership to the profession in regulation.

The rules concerning the licensing of dentists in Ontario are set out in provincial legislation – the Regulated Health Professions Act and the Dentistry Act, 1991 – and the regulations made under these acts.

By law, no one is allowed to practise as a dentist in Ontario without a licence issued by the College known as a Certificate of Registration. There are different classes of certificate depending on your situation, for example, whether you are a student, a visiting intern or a professor. Most applicants seek a General Certificate which grants the full, unrestricted right to deliver dental services to the public of Ontario.