Regulations, Legislation and By-Laws

The Dentistry Act, 1991 and the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 determine how dentistry is regulated in Ontario.

The Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA) applies to 26 health professions and the 24 regulatory colleges that regulate them. These colleges are not teaching institutions. Their function is to set standards for the health professions they regulate and make sure the profession complies with the RHPA and related laws. Anyone who calls him or herself a regulated health professional must be a member of the College that regulates his or her profession.

RCDSO has a number of different forms of authority to regulate and guide the dental profession in addition to the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA). They include:

  • the Dentistry Act
  • Regulations
  • By-laws
  • Standards of Practice/Guidelines/Practice Advisories

The Dentistry Act is the legislation, specifically for dentists, that sets out the scope of practice and controlled or authorized acts for the profession.

The Dentistry Act, through the Health Professions Procedural Code, gives the College the authority to develop numerous types of regulations that establish obligations for members' registration requirements.

Any regulation that is developed by the College must be circulated to all members for their feedback. A proposed regulation must also be approved by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, a provincial government cabinet committee, and finally it must be signed into law by the Lieutenant-Governor of the province.

The Dentistry Act also gives the College the authority to develop numerous by-laws. By-laws usually have a broad scope and are generally concerned with administrative matters within the College.