Royal College of
Dental Surgeons of Ontario
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Governing Legislation

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

Regulated Health Professions Act

The Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA) applies to 27 health professions and the 27 colleges that regulate them. These health regulatory colleges set standards for their health professions and make sure each profession complies with the RHPA and related laws. Anyone who calls themselves a regulated health professional must be a member of their regulatory College.

The Dentistry Act

The Dentistry Act sets out the scope of practice and controlled or authorized acts for dentists in Ontario.

The Act, through the Health Professions Procedural Code, gives RCDSO the authority to develop regulations that establish obligations and requirements for dentists to practice in Ontario.

Any regulation developed by RCDSO must be circulated to all dentists for their consideration and response. A proposed regulation must also be approved by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, a provincial government cabinet committee. It must be signed into law by the Lieutenant-Governor to come into effect.

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

RCDSO has a number of different tools to regulate and guide the dental profession in addition to the RHPA and the Dentistry Act. They include: