Dentistry

What is Dentistry?

Dentistry is defined as the evaluation, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases, disorders and conditions of the oral cavity, maxillofacial area or their adjacent structures and their impact on the human body (American Dental Association).

What are the common academic requirements?

At UofT, applicants must have completed three years of university education (i.e. at least 15 full year courses or 30 half-year courses). This education must include the following 5 full year courses or equivalents:

  • One full course (or 2 half year courses) in general biochemistry.
  • One full course (or 2 half year courses) in general mammalian (human or animal) physiology
  • Two additional full courses (or 4 half year courses) in Life Sciences.
  • One full course (or 2 half year courses) in a Humanities/Social Science.
  • A minimum current Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 (4.0 scale) is required. However, a 3.85 GPA (domestic applicants) and 3.80 GPA (international applicants) has been more typical of those offered admission interviews.

What are the non-academic admission requirements?

Dental Aptitude Test (DAT) Scores

  • The DAT is designed to measure general academic ability, knowledge of relevant scientific information, perceptual ability and manual dexterity.
  • The Canadian DAT is offered twice a year in February and November. DAT registration forms can be obtained by contacting the Canadian Dental Associations’ Dentistry Aptitude Test Program: www.cda-adc.ca

English Facility Requirements

  • All applicants must be proficient in both written and spoken English or French, depending on the Dentistry school. Please refer to the admission guidelines at each school for details.

Interviews

  • At U of T, applicants who are considered to have potential for dentistry based on their application documents will be invited an on-campus interview. Other schools interview as well.

As an example, U of T admission guidelines are available here

Start Early!
Dental programs are highly competitive and require a minimum mid-B average. Improve your study skills and learning strategies from First Year! The AA&CC can help!

Improve your GPA:
Visit the AA&CC and the Centre for Teaching & Learning to improve your academic skills. AA&CC Events & Workshops are available via cln.utoronto.ca

Cultivate References:
Get to know your professors. Their research is interesting! Professors who know you fairly well are able to write strong reference letters for you.
Get Involved:
Join volunteer and co-curricular activities that develop your skills and demonstrate an ongoing interest in a career in Dentistry or healthcare.

Looking for Related Experience?
Review the Volunteering and Internships tip sheets, attend a Work Search Strategies workshop or book an appointment with a Career Counsellor or Career Strategist. Get Involved On Campus!

What other considerations are there?

  • The Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree typically takes 4 years to complete on a full-time basis.
  • The program consists of classroom courses and clinical rotations
  • To call oneself a Dentist, which is a protected title, registration with the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario is required. Completing this registration requires the completion of written and oral examinations. Your dentistry school will assist you with the exam prep and registration processes.

Where can I study Dentistry?

In Ontario:
(Apply to each school separately)
University of Toronto
University of Western Ontario

In Canada:
(Apply to each school separately)
University of Alberta
University of British Columbia
University of Manitoba
University of Saskatchewan
Dalhousie University
McGill University
Université de Montréal (French Only)
Université Laval (French Only)

In USA:
American Student Dental Association List of US Dental Schools
American Dental Education Association
(Applications are made centrally here)
Note: US Dentistry schools may ask for the American DAT, which is separate from the Canadian DAT. Read the application guidelines carefully!

Paying for a Dentistry Program
Annual tuition for Ontario students averages $35,000 plus instruments. Remember to ask about scholarships and bursaries! You might also find financial support via government financial aid programs

The AA&CC can help!
Attend the Graduate & Professional Schools Fair (October), go to a Preparing for Professional & Graduate School workshop, meet professionals in the field through Extern Job Shadowing, or speak with a Career Counsellor to learn how to get relevant experience!

Where can I find more information and resources?

The Canadian Dental Association
The Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario
American Dental Association
Ontario Dental Association
Student Doctor Network

Professional Programs Guide accessible through CLN (Resources section)
Application & Personal Statement Resources

Please note: While this tip sheet aims to ensure accuracy, requirements do change. Consider it a starting point for your further research. Visit individual Faculties of Dentistry for detailed, up-to-date information about admission requirements and application procedures.

Last update: November 2016