Royal College of
Dental Surgeons of Ontario
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Standards of Practice

The College develops, establishes and maintains programs and standards of practice to ensure the quality of the practice of dentistry in Ontario.

Standard of care is defined as the degree of care that a reasonable and prudent dentist would exercise under the same or similar circumstances. A dentist who fails to meet the standard of care for any part of a dental treatment and who causes injury as a result can be found liable for negligence.

Standards vary from one jurisdiction to another. In Ontario, all dentists are held to the same standards of practice in terms of their professional education, technique, diligence and judgment.

Specialists have advanced training and can make this expertise known to the public. As a result, they are held to higher standards of practice, consistent with the knowledge and skill of a reasonable specialist.

The College has established standards of practice on several topics by publishing standards, guidelines, practice advisories and other documents. They all contain practice parameters and standards which should be considered by Ontario dentists in the care of their patients. These publications may be used by the College or other bodies in determining whether appropriate standards of practice and professional responsibilities have been maintained.

All Ontario dentists should:

  • Familiarize themselves with, and have a clear understanding of, the College’s standards of practice, guidelines, practice advisories and other publications
  • Keep their clinical skills sharp and their knowledge base up-to-date through continuing education courses and review of current evidence-based dental literature
  • Be an active participant in the dental community by engaging in ongoing consultation with specialists and other colleagues
  • Reach out to the College’s Practice Advisory Service, which points dentists towards pertinent clinical resources and provides clarifications on particular College publications, documents or position statements.

Standards of Practice

Guidelines

Practice Advisories