Procedures and/or documents that are necessary to be able to work in this country
The general entry requirements to practice dental hygiene in Canada are graduation from an accredited dental hygiene programme in a post-secondary educational institution.
Dental hygiene is a self regulated profession in all Canadian provinces and registration is a provincial responsibility. To protect public interest, provincial legislation confers powers to the profession to regulate the practice of dental hygiene. A certificate of registration to practice is issued only to those who meet established standards of qualification and practice.
Persons eligible for dental hygiene registration must have graduated from a dental hygiene program. Graduates of Dentistry programs are not eligible for dental hygiene registration.
Official licensing body in the country
Dental hygienists are regulated provincially. Listed below are licensing bodies for each province.
College of Dental Hygienists of Manitoba (CDHM)
109-420 Des Meurons Street, Winnipeg, MB R2H 2N9
Dept. of Health and Social Services, Government of NWT
Box 1320, Centre Square Tower, 8th Floor, Yellowknife, NWT X1A 2L9
Tel: +1 867 920 8058
Fax: +1 867 873 0484
College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario
69 Bloor Street East, Suite 300, Toronto, ON M4W 1A9
Tel: +1 416 961 6234
Fax: +1 416 961 6028
Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island Dental Council
184 Belvedere Avenue, Charlottetown, PE C1A 2Z1
Tel/Fax: +1 902 892 4470
Ordre des hygiènistes dentaires du Québec
1290 rue St-Denis, bureau 300, Montréal, QC H2X 3J7
Tel: +1 514 284 7639
Fax: +1 514 284 3147
Saskatchewan Dental Hygienists Association
PO Box 32039, RPO Victoria Square, Regina, SK S4N 7L2
Tel: +1 306 721 7342
Fax: +1 306 721 1583
National Health and Welfare Department
Box 2703, Whitehorse, Yukon Territories Y1A 2C6
Tel: +1 867 667 5111
Fax: +1 867 667 3609
Special conditions that may apply for dental hygienists that obtain employment
Dental hygienists are regulated provincially. Consequently, prospective immigrants are advised to contact the licensing/regulatory board of the jurisdiction where they intend to practice, in order to ascertain specific entry requirements.
Contact for Work Permit and/or Visa
The Canadian Embassy/Consulate in the country of residence.
Main local and/or official language(s)
English and French, depending on the province of residence and practice. Proficiency in speaking and writing both languages, depending on the usage in the area is generally a requirement.
Are dental hygienists licensed or certified overseas required to sit the country's national examination?
Dental hygiene professionals who received their dental hygiene degree/diploma from a non-accredited educational institution[i] and who wish to practice their profession in Canada must first apply for a formal equivalency assessment of their education and professional credentials (if applicable) by the FDHRC. They should also contact the regulatory college in the province where they plan to work, to determine all licensure/regulatory requirements.
Note: The equivalency assessment process is different in the province of Québec. Applicants planning to work in this province should contact l’Ordre des hygiénistes dentaires du Québec.
In general, the steps to qualification for employment as a registered dental hygienist in Canada for internationally educated dental hygienists are as follows:
- Granting of Equivalency Assessment
- Successful Completion of Examination(s)
- Demonstration of Language Proficiency
- Occupational Training and Upgrading (if necessary)
- Application for Registration/Licensure with the provincial regulatory body
For information on the complete list of documents required for review, contact:
Information on the local working environment
Although future demand for preventive oral health services is likely to increase as the population ages, the employment outlook for dental hygienists will remain limited, due to ongoing fiscal health policy and current oversupply of practitioners.
Links to related web sites:
WHO Oral Health: Country/Area Profile Programme
|Number of Dental Hygienists, Female / Male||21,000 / 500|
|Number of Dentists||19,000|
|Number of Dental Hygiene Schools / Students per year||32 / 1400|
|Practicing Dental Hygienists: Full-time / Part-time||16,000 / 5,000|
|Number of Dental Hygienists in private sector / public sector||85% / 15%|
|Number of Dental Hygienists practicing as Educators||500|
|Hygienists practicing as Administrators and/or Consultants||200|
|Number of Dental Hygienists in other practice settings||250|
Information based on data received by IFDH in:
NOTE: The information provided above is for general guidance only. The International Federation of Dental Hygienists advises all hygienists to contact the country’s relevant licensing bodies and agencies for current information and regulations.