Immigrate to Canada as a Dentist – If you’re a dentist looking to immigrate to Canada, then you probably already know that gaining entry into the country’s job market can be tough if you don’t have any Canadian experience. This is especially true for those who want to work as a dentist in Canada. In order to immigrate to Canada as a dentist, you’ll need both the right skills/licenses and an employer willing to sponsor your work permit. Here’s some advice from our panel of dentists on how you can make it happen.
1. What skills are required to work as a dentist in Canada?
Dentists are the professionals who examine, diagnose and treat problems with your teeth, gums, and related parts of your mouth. In Canada, you’ll need to have a dental degree from an accredited dental school. After you graduate from dental school, you must complete a mandatory internship. Then you can apply for registration with a provincial dental association.
2. What are the occupational hazards that dentists are expected to deal with?
As you might expect, your job involves more than fixing your clients’ teeth. You’ll find yourself often involved in diagnosing other medical conditions, as well as being able to diagnose tooth and gum wear and tear. Wherever you work, you’ll be exposed to germs and bacteria. This can lead to germs escaping and several serious diseases resulting from that exposure.
3. Can I apply to dentistry school and work in a dentist’s office in Canada?
Yes, dentistry school can definitely be a good thing for aspiring dentists. Though most doctors don’t get into dentistry, it is possible to find a dental school that will accept dentistry graduates of all disciplines. As for working directly with patients, lucky you! Most dentists won’t allow you to take clients’ insurance. Some of them might require you to pay them. You’ll likely need to bring proof of payment, which you can get by applying for dental insurance.
4. What kind of education do dentists receive and whether it is accredited?
As you can probably imagine, dentistry education differs greatly from country to country. Canada has the most accredited dental schools in the world. There are also a lot of high-ranking U.S. schools ranked poorly by US News and World Report. So if you plan on studying to be a dentist in America, you might want to reconsider.
The Canadian Dental Association, an organization representing Canada’s dentists, lays out the licensing requirement for dentistry programs. To become registered, dentists, you must complete at least 80 percent of the coursework from a national dental college or university. They need to pass a national exam administered by the CMA.
How much does a dentist make in Canada?
Dentists in Canada earn a median annual income of $139,000, making it the second-highest-paid occupation in the country. Dental hygienists make up the majority of dental workers in Canada and earn a median salary of $73,000 per year.
Surgical nurses are the third most popular dental occupation based on median salaries earned by respondents since 2017. Neurological and cognitive scientists make up the next two most popular jobs but these jobs are becoming increasingly rare. Two main factors are responsible for the decreasing popularity of these paths in Canada: an aging population and an aging population means global competition may be reducing the number of students studying these subject areas.
Dental school fees are one of the most significant expenses dentists face. In 2017–2020, the average dental student spent more than $2,000 in total intuition, textbook costs, related expenses, and living expenses. The stats tell us that dental school fees will remain a significant expense despite the market improving. The World Dental Network notes that our findings are “in line with an average US dental student spending $940 on dental school education.
In Canada, the average student spends $1,535 on the same trying to find their career direction, which may be a reason for the growing cost of dental school tuition in the country.” In fact, this is a trend Canadian dentists apparently noticed as well and have started to speak out about their experiences in regard to rising dental expenses.
Dental cost is major factor dentists are concerned about. An estimated 12% of Ontario dentists were reported to be operating in the red.
Typically, the cost is the single largest expense faced by dentists, which means sustainable, cost-effective solutions for the profession need to be created.
Working with fewer than 50 other dentists to meet the state and national need, dentists in Canada must be able to excel when working alongside 50 other specialists. Working as a team is a must to maintain morale and maintain a positive reputation amongst clients.
How can I find work as a dentist in Canada?
The best way to find a job as a dentist in Canada is to contact local dental clinics and ask to speak to the dentist or the human resources department. You should also read the classified ads in your local paper to see if any jobs are being advertised.
Most dental positions require good communication skills such as being able to speak well and listen to patients. If you think you are good at marketing, you may be surprised to find out that dentists are paid quite well. Earnings in the $40,000–$50,000 range per year are common. Potential earnings maybe even higher if you manage to snag the top job. Furthermore, Canadian dentists may earn a competitive financial guarantee which can make a dent in how much your work feels worth it.
You can apply directly to dental schools and universities knowing the difference between the three professions and applying for a position that sounds like a great opportunity to you.
Note: The longer you’re in the dental field, the more likely you are to get promoted.
How do I know if I have what it takes to be successful in a Canadian dental practice?
1. Step one is to learn the business. You must get very familiar with the dental clinic where you want to work. You should also learn about the company’s values. How do they treat their staff? Are they fair with their patients? What are their expectations of us? These things will help you shape your image. It should also be noted that some dentists may or may not give you the job based on your interview performance. This is extra important if you are looking to get a more global dental practice.
According to a BBC article, dentists speak four languages: English, French, German, and Chinese/English (Hangzhou), and approximately 200 million people are currently in Canada. Dental clinics often contract with a Chinese clinic, which gives them experience dealing with American patients. If you apply online, dentists look at everything from your online marketing to your references.
Can I just come to Canada and look for a job as a dentist?
As a dentist, you can practice in any province across Canada as long as you are registered with the regulatory body, the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario.
Remote work is part of the Canadian economy, which means you may need to build up these skills. Despite being a highly skilled profession, 70% of Canada’s dentists are in practice.
The American Dental Association states that “only 59% of American dentists are remotely employed, which speaks to a huge talent gap within the industry”. In order to increase the competitiveness of the Canadian dental industry, it would be best to bolster the professional ethos of dentists. Dental schools could also promote career pathways for remote dentists like Strategic Management (training generalists in their strategic skills).
The growth of Telehealth in Canada is also forcing dentists to learn new skills.
Are many dentists out there looking for an opportunity to improve their digital skills?
Good business practices, such as digital marketing and telemedicine, would improve the productivity of dentists and would reduce costs for patients. If you’re thinking of telemedicine as a new spin on providing dentistry via remote clinics, it might be time to look for dentists who are also interested.
Will I be well-served by telemedicine?
One of the big draws of telemedicine for Canadians is the ability to see patients remotely. At present, many dentists feel very strongly that telemedicine will bring down the cost of dental care: it will allow patients to receive preventive dental care for as little as thirty dollars a month.
In order to be successful with telemedicine, it will be important for dentists to understand the different services offered. What are the current alternatives to going to an office to receive care? Dental implants and teletherapy are becoming more and more common, and this technology is only going to become more advanced.
What does the application process look like for Canadian dentists?
Applications for Canadian dentists are done online and dental schools will rank applicants based on their GPA, DAT scores, letters of reference, and personal statements. It’s best to start preparing well in advance of your application. For example, if you’re applying to dental school in Canada, you should start taking the DAT by the end of high school.
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