Dentistry

Why study Dentistry at Dal?

Prevent, diagnose and treat

Dalhousie’s Faculty of Dentistry has been providing students with an outstanding education since its founding in 1908. Our tradition of excellence and our nationally and internationally recognized faculty members educate dental professionals that we are proud to welcome as our colleagues after graduation. Our program is fully accredited by the Commission of Dental Accreditation of Canada (CDAC).

Degree overview

Undergraduate Degree: Doctor of Dental Surgery, DDS
Faculty: Faculty of Dentistry
Campus: Carleton Campus, Halifax
Program Length: 4 years
Qualifying Program Length: 2 years
Program Start: September



What will I learn?

Doctor of Dental Surgery (Four-year Degree)

In Dalhousie’s four-year Doctor of Dental Surgery program, you’ll learn techniques in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a full range of dental diseases, including how to screen for oral cancers and perform oral surgery.

Your courses will cover a range of topics, including the biological, medical and dental sciences. A strong emphasis is placed on clinical patient treatment activities, even in your first year. In your upper years you’ll cover topics such as oral and maxillofacial surgery, comprehensive patient care and more. As early as your second year you’ll treat dental patients in Dalhousie’s Dental Clinic as well as in local hospitals.

This program has an electronic curriculum which equips you with textbooks, manuals and patient records on a laptop computer, which is included in your tuition fees.

Doctor of Dental Surgery (Two-year Qualifying Program)

This program is designed for Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada who have graduated from a non-accredited dentistry program in an other country. You'll build on your existing knowledge and gain training in North-American dentistry practices.

Once you finish the program, you’ll graduate with a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree and you’ll be eligible for a licence to practice in Canada, the United States and Australia.

Sample courses:

  • Orthodontics
  • Paediatric Dentistry
  • Caries Prevention
     

Once you’ve completed your DDS, you may choose to complete the one-year Dental Specialty Assessment and Training (DSATP) in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

Visit the Academic Calendar to view degree options and course details.



Careers and future study

After successfully completing four years of study, you’ll graduate with a Doctor in Dental Surgery (DDS) degree with the skills you need to pursue a career in dentistry—whether you start your own dental practice or go on to graduate studies in dentistry. You might pursue a career in any of the following specialties or interests:

  • general practice
  • implant dentistry
  • cosmetic dentistry
  • periodontal surgery
  • health education and advocacy

After completing the Doctor in Dental Surgery (DDS) program, you could complete a MSc or MD in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, a Master of Periodontics, a Master of Science (MSc) or a Master of Applied Science (MASc). Other dentistry specialty programs, such as Orthodontics, Paediatric Dentistry, Endodontics, and Dental Public Health are also available to pursue.



Admission requirements

The Faculty of Dentistry accepts up to 40 candidates into the Doctor in Dental Surgery (DDS) program and 10 candidates into the Qualiyfing Program each year.

Preference is given to permanent residents of the Atlantic provinces. Applicants are selected on a competitive basis. We look at university grades, DAT scores, resumes and references. Those with strong results from the above, along with the interview and Faculty of Dentistry testing have the best chance of admission.

View admission requirements

Doctor of Dental Surgery (Four-year Degree)


To be admitted into Dalhousie's Dentisty program, you must meet the:


Important Deadlines

December 1 Deadline to apply and pay the application fee
February 1 Deadline to submit supporting documents


Academic Requirements

You must complete a minimum of 60 credit hours of university study in a degree or degree-like program. You must also complete the following required courses by May 1 of your expected entry year:

Required course Credit hours
Introductory Biology (with laboratory) 6
Introductory Chemistry (with laboratory) 6
Introductory Physics (with laboratory) 6
Organic Chemistry (with laboratory) 6*
Introductory Biochemistry 3
Introductory Microbiology 3
Vertebrate Physiology 6
Writing course 6
Humanity and/ or social science courses 12

* An approved 3 credit hours of Bio-organic Chemistry may be substituted

Please note: Completing these required courses will prepare you for the Dentistry curriculum. If you're unsure your courses will meet the learning requirements, view the list of approved higher science courses or contact the Faculty of Dentistry.

Supplemental Information

supplemental application form confirming the successful completion of all prerequisite courses must be submitted as part of your application package.

Non-academic Requirements 


Dental Aptitude Test (DAT)

By February 1 of your entry year, you must complete the Dental Aptitude Test (DAT) through the Canadian Dental Association DAT or American Dental Association DAT. Results must be submitted to the Faculty of Dentistry by the testing agency. Canadian citizens residing in Canada must submit results of the Canadian Dental Association DAT. Other applicants may submit results of the American Dental Association DAT.

Your best scores on the reading comprehension, science total, perceptual ability and manual dexterity (carving) components of repeated DATs are considered, using scores that are no more than two years old. Most successful applicants have scores of at least 15 on each component, and an average of all best scores of 20 or better.

Interview

Applicants with the highest university grades are selected for interview. Interviews are conducted at the Faculty of Dentistry, by a team of 2-3 trained interviewers, using a structured interview format.

References

Applicants who are invited for an interview are required to submit three confidential evaluations, using forms provided in the application package. At least one reference must be provided by a university instructor who has taught the applicant. Other references must be from non-relatives with whom the applicant has worked or volunteered with. References may also be given by community members who know the applicant.

Supplemental Information

supplemental information form outlining your work and volunteer experience, group activities and accomplishments must be submitted as part of your application package.
 

Health Requirements

General Regulations

Programs in the Faculty of Dentistry involve students interacting with patients in a health-care environment, meaning students are in a position of special trust with patients. Therefore, all students must adhere to certain regulations and standards. View the full list of health requirements [PDF- 162 kB].

Immunization and CPR Requirements

Acceptance into the Faculty of Dentistry clinical programs is normally conditional upon receipt of evidence of complete immunization of the following:

  • Tetanus
  • Diphtheria
  • Pertussis (Td/Tdap)
  • Polio
  • Measles (Rubeola)
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Hepatitis B (including post-immunization Antibody Titres)
  • Varicella
  • Annual influenza immunization for each year of study

Please note: students accepted to the program must also have a current Level C CPR/AED (automated external defibrillator) course.

Supplementary Information

Applicants are required to complete the Dalhousie University Faculty of Dentistry Immunization/CPR Record [PDF - 110 kB] as a condition of acceptance to the program. Please review the Faculty of Dentistry Immunization Procedure for Applicants [PDF - 162 kB].

Doctor of Dental Surgery (Two-year Qualifying Program)


Prerequisites

To be eligible for admission into the two-year DDS Qualifying Program:

  • You must have successfully completed a dentistry degree program (you will need to provide copies of your transcripts and dentistry degree)
  • If your first language is not English (or you have not completed post-secondary education in English), you must demonstrate English language proficiency. Testing results must be submitted to the Faculty of Dentistry by the testing agency on your behalf.
  • You must complete the NDEB Assessment of Fundamental Knowledge examination. Results are forwarded to the Faculty of Dentistry by NDEB.
  • You must meet the health requirements
  • You must submit a resume to the Admissions Office by May 1 of the year of entry:

    Dalhousie University Faculty of Dentistry,
    P.O. Box 15000
    Halifax, N.S., B3H 4R2
  • If you are re-applying, you must submit a new application form and fee every year. Supporting documentation is held in the Admission Office at the Faculty of Dentistry for one year. Therefore if you are re-applying for the next year, you only need to submit a new application form, fee and any updated documentation.
     

Assessment Process

The assessment process includes two phases:

Phase One 

We will assess your documentation and results in the selection of a short list (approximately 40 to 60 applicants in past years) for further evaluation. 

Phase Two 

You will take part in a one-day assessment at the Faculty of Dentistry during which a personal interview and written essay will be evaluated for competency in spoken and written English. A pre-clinical assessment will evaluate basic dental skills.

If selected for Phase Two, you will be required to provide your original dental degree/certificate and university transcripts, as well as proof of Canadian citizenship or permanent residency status on the day of the assessment.

The earliest date by which applicants are notified of selection decisions is August 1 and the latest date of notification is November 1.

Wait List

A wait list of qualified candidates is established for each entering class and applicants may be selected from the wait list up to the end of the first week of classes.

Applicants who failed to gain admission in earlier years, or who were placed on wait lists in an earlier year, are not given preference for admission.

Health Requirements

General Regulations

Programs in the Faculty of Dentistry involve students interacting with patients in a health-care environment, meaning students are in a position of special trust with patients. Therefore, all students must adhere to certain regulations and standards. View the full list of health requirements [PDF- 162 kB].

Immunization and CPR Requirements

Acceptance into the Faculty of Dentistry clinical programs is normally conditional upon receipt of evidence of complete immunization of the following:

  • Tetanus
  • Diphtheria
  • Pertussis (Td/Tdap)
  • Polio
  • Measles (Rubeola)
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Hepatitis B (including post-immunization Antibody Titres)
  • Varicella
  • Annual influenza immunization for each year of study

Please note: students accepted to the program must also have a current Level C CPR/AED (automated external defibrillator) course.

Supplementary Information

Applicants are required to complete the Dalhousie University Faculty of Dentistry Immunization/CPR Record [PDF - 110 kB] as a condition of acceptance to the program. Please review the Faculty of Dentistry Immunization Procedure for Applicants [PDF - 162 kB].

International Applicants


Requirements for International Applicants

The Faculty of Dentistry will consider applications to the Doctor in Dental Surgery (DDS) program from individuals who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada, and the DDS Qualifying Program* from individuals who have received their former education outside the Canadian educational system.

Applicants must fulfill the stated admission requirements for the program of study, as well as any Canadian immigration student visa requirements (note that there are special student visa requirements for international students entering a health care program, and students should review the Canadian immigration website).  

If the applicant's first language is not English, he/she must complete and receive a minimum score in an English language proficiency test.

Original supporting documents from previously completed education must be provided, including course descriptions, explanations of the grading systems used and course standings.

*Please note: applicants to the Qualifying Program must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada.



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