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  • Dr. David Alfaro

Becoming a dentist in BC

Have you ever thought about what qualifications your dentist needs to become registered in BC?

Dr. Dave, Nelson Dentist, Dentist, Prosthodontist, Implants, Whitening

The first thing they must do is to complete their dental school training. Many dentists obtain their education here in Canada, or in the US (like myself), where almost every program is 4 years long, includes training alongside medical students, and requires at least 3 years of undergraduate prerequisites before being eligible to apply to the school. In reality, most applicants already have an undergraduate degree before being accepted to a dental program due to the competitive nature of the field. Dental schools in Canada and US must be accredited (usually every 5 years) and the two countries share similar accreditation standards.

This means that most Canadian and American trained dentists have at least 8 years of university level education! Specialists, then go on and do another 3 years of training......I have spent most of my life being a student. Thank you friends and family for all the support along the way!!!

Dr. Dave, Nelson Dentist, Dentist, Prosthodontist, Implants, Whitening

Upon completed their dental training, dentists must then pass a licensing exam (NDEB), and submit those results and dental school transcripts to the registration board for their province (College of Dental Surgeons of BC), and must also pass a criminal background check, complete mandatory continuing education, and hold malpractice insurance, in order to be licensed to practice dentistry in BC. Registration requirements may vary province to province.

Dr. Dave, Nelson Dentist, Dentist, Prosthodontist, Implants, Whitening

For dentists who have completed their dental training outside of Canada or the US, they can now challenge the national dental licensing examination. In the past, they would have had to enter the final two years of a dental program in Canada before being eligible to take the test. Some international programs are similar to Canadian and American programs, where dental school is an advanced degree requiring University level prerequisites, but in some programs students can enter dental training straight out of high school. The number of internationally trained dentists registering in BC every year has been increasing. According to the CDSBC, almost 40% (77/203) of new registrants in BC in 2017-2018 were trained outside of Canada or the US.

If you are interested in finding out more about how dentists get registered in BC, including where your own dentist was trained, you can refer to the College of Dental Surgeons of BC website (

Thanks for reading!

Dr. Dave

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