What they do?

Dentists perform some or all of the following duties:

A. Examine patients' teeth, gums and surrounding tissue to diagnose disease, injury and decay and plan appropriate treatment

B. Restore, extract and replace diseased and decayed teeth

C. Perform oral surgery, periodontal surgery and other treatments

D. Clean teeth and instruct patients on oral hygiene

E. Design bridgework, fit dentures and provide appliances to correct abnormal positioning of the teeth and jaws, or write fabrication instructions or prescriptions for use by denturists and dental technicians

F. Supervise dental hygienists, dental assistants and other staff.

G. Dentists may specialize in such areas as oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, periodontics, endodontics, prosthodontics, oral pathology, oral radiology or public health dentistry.

Where they find work?

1. Health care and social assistance - 100.0%

What education do I need?

1. You must complete one to four years of pre-dental university studies or, in Quebec, a college program in science, and must hold a university degree from a recognized dental program.

2. You must also obtain a licence from the regulatory body in the province/territory where you'll work.

3. You need advanced training and an additional licence to specialize.

4. Most recent entrants have an undergraduate university degree.

High School Subject that will help:

  1. Math
  2. Physics
  3. Chemistry
  4. Biology

What can you expect to make:

The average hourly wages for Dentists is $26.57/HR, which is above average for occupations in the health sector and close to the average for all professional occupations. These wages grew at a below-average rate from 2002 to 2004.

Average Wage

Dentists wages

Expected Wage by Age

Dentists Wage By Age


2% of Dentists are unemployed. This rate is close to the average for professionnal occupations.


Dentists Unemployment

Trends in Unemployment

Dentists Trends in Unemployment

Current Job Outlook:

The job outlook for Dentists is considered Above Average because:

1. Employment grew at an average rate.

2. Hourly wages ($26.57) are above the average ($18.07), and the rate of wage growth is below average.

3. The unemployment rate (2%) is below the 2004 average (7%).

Future Job Prospects:

Your job outlook will continue to be Above Average because:

1. The employment growth rate will likely be above average, job openings should increase because of ongoing trends--a growing and aging population that requires more dental care, technology advances that create new treatments for previously untreatable dental problems, and more Canadians with dental insurance.

2. Although the retirement rate will likely be average, the number of retiring workers should contribute to job openings.

3. The number of job seekers will likely match the number of job openings.

Highest Concetration:

The highest concentrations (per 10,000 people) of Dentists are found in Alberta and Ontario while the lowest concentrations are in New Brunswick and Newfoundland.

Unionization Rate:

The unionization rate (82%) is above the average (32%) for all occupations.

Useful Experience:

1. Business and financial management

2. Committee work

Part Time Workers

Dentists Part Time Workers

Part time workers:

18% of Dentists are employed only on a part-time basis. There were 16,700 workers employed in these occupations in 2004, a decrease of 9% since 1997.

Age Demographics

Dentists Age Demographics

Age Demographics:

The relatively low percentage of younger workers suggests few entry-level job openings, and could point to a greater need for workers with experience or a number of years of training. The older-than-average worker (45) will likely be offset by a later retirement age (67) resulting in an average retirement rate to 2009.

Self Employed

Dentists Self Employed

Self Employed:

Roughly 90% of Dentists are self-employed. This is considered Above average for the industry as a whole.

Men vs Women

Dentists Men vs Women

Men vs Women:

39% of the individuals employed as Dentists are women. Compared to other industries, this is Average .