Application Process

Processing time for a complete application may vary across the country from two weeks to six weeks. Contact the province you are registering in for specific timelines.

Other issues respecting your history, capacity or fitness may delay the process. In some situations, for example, with an applicant who has a disciplinary history, it is necessary for the Registrar of a dental regulatory authority to refer the application to a registration committee. The committee will then review the application, possibly request additional information from the applicant and render a decision.

Questions respecting how to appeal a decision by a registration committee or college must be answered by the provincial dental regulatory authority where you wish to register.

Before You Immigrate to Canada

Once you have met all the requirements, you may apply for registration from any location. Refer to the sections below about what documents you will need and for a definition of what a "certified" document is. All applications are treated in the same manner and must meet the requirements as specified here in addition to whatever specific provincial requirements exist.

If you are not very fluent in English or French it is a good idea to improve your English or French before arriving in Canada.

When You Arrive in Canada

Given the nature of the requirements (e.g. assessment or two-year program), you will probably already be residing in Canada. To begin your application to a dental regulatory authority, follow the steps as outined.

Step 1 – Completing the application form
Once all requirements have been met, then you may submit a completed, signed and notarized dental regulatory authority Application Form. There may be an expiry date placed on the application for you to complete the process. To reiterate, the major requirements for registration/licensure must be completed before you submit an application. You would not, for instance, submit an application before you have completed the two-year qualifying program or NDEB Equivalency Process if seeking general practice. Application forms are available on the websites of many of the dental regulatory authorities.

Step 2 – Required documentation
Below is a typical list of, the documents you will need when applying for registration/licensure in Canada. This is a general guideline of what you may be required to submit:

  • a certified copy of your original dental degree
  • an original letter from the graduating university confirming your graduation and date
  • a certified copy of your final transcripts that includes confirmation of the dental degree being issued
  • written confirmation from the Canadian or American university that you have successfully completed the two-year qualifying or international dentist program (if applicable)
  • a certified copy of the certificate issued by the National Dental Examining Board of Canada
  • a certified copy of the appropriate authorization from Citizenship and Immigration Canada permitting you to practise dentistry in Canada
  • a completed Certificate of Standing form NOTE: The form must be completed by the licensing or regulatory body in the jurisdiction in which you have practised as a dentist. In some countries, this is not a separate organization like in Canada but might be a government body such as a Ministry of Health. This form will provide evidence that you were not the subject of an investigation or proceeding for professional misconduct, incompetence, incapacity or a similar investigation or proceeding and that you were not the subject of a finding of professional misconduct, incompetence, incapacity or a similar finding. This is a major requirement that must be addressed in all cases. Please contact the appropriate dental regulatory authority if you have any questions. This documentation may have an expiry date, particularly if you continued to practise in that jurisdiction after it was issued. Alternatively, it must have been current and up-to-date when you left the jurisdiction in question.
  • a certified copy of a legal name change certificate, marriage certificate, or divorce certificate. This is required only if you are applying for a licence under a name that is different from the one recorded on your dental degree.
  • a written summary of your activities if there are any time gaps or periods where you did not engage in the practice of dentistry between when you obtained your dental degree and when you applied to a Canadian, provincial dental regulatory authority.

It is your responsibility to ensure that your application is complete and meets the requirements of the province you are applying to. It is therefore imperative and in your best interest to contact the dental regulatory authority directly in the province that you are seeking to be registered in to verify what documentation is required in that province.

Step 3 — Providing certified documents
The dental regulatory authorities/colleges may require a combination of original and certified documentation depending on the nature of the document. A certified or notarized copy is a photocopy of the original document that has been sworn or declared a certified `true copy` of the original by a lawyer, notary public or commissioner of oaths. Please be aware that certain notaries or commissioners are restricted to a certain industry (e.g. banking, real estate and travel agencies) and as such are not legally authorized to certify registration-related documentation. Do not use them as it will only delay your application. You will be required to have your documentation certified properly.

Another common problem occurs when notaries request the applicant to declare the copies as true rather than the notary doing it. This is also not accepted as an applicant cannot swear to the authenticity of his/her own documentation. This is a conflict of interest and the documentation will be rejected.

These are the steps to obtaining a certified document:

i. You take the original document to the legal authority.

ii. The legal authority will:

  • take a photocopy;
  • either provide a covering affidavit or write on the document directly that the copy is a true, exact and unaltered copy of the original document;
  • sign, stamp and date the photocopy.

Documents not originally issued in English or French must be officially translated. It is the applicant`s responsibility to arrange for the official (certified) translation. An applicant cannot translate his/her own documents. Original translations must verify that the translation is accurate and authentic and will be accepted only from the following:

  • the consulate, high commission or embassy to Canada of the country that issued the documents;
  • a Canadian embassy, consulate, or high commission in the country from which you emigrated;
  • a translator accredited by a professional association of translators in Canada; or
  • a translator who has received accreditation through a federal, provincial or municipal government in Canada.

All acceptable translations must be accompanied by an original statement from the translator indicating

  • the translator`s number and/or seal, name, address and telephone number.
  • that the translator belongs to one of the categories listed above.
  • printed name and signature of the translator.


The NDEB Equivalency Process involves a series of examinations as the two-year programs. Once complete, you must also challenge the National Dental Examining Board examination before you apply to a dental regulatory authority. The NDEB website, lists recommended readings, as well as every examination question it has used.

Language Proficiency Assessment

You are expected to have reasonable fluency in either English or French. Many dental programs throughout the world are taught in English or French. The two-year qualifying programs are taught in English or French and therefore further evidence of language fluency might not be necessary once you reach the point of application to a dental regulatory authority. In the province of Quebec, you must have an appropriate knowledge of French in accordance with the provisions of the Charter of the French Language. As stated elsewhere, verify all requirements with the dental regulatory authority in the province you are applying to.