Dentists

(NOC 3113)

in All Health

Dentists examine, assess, diagnose, prevent, and treat disorders of the teeth and tissues of the mouth. They work in private practice or may be employed in hospitals, clinics, public health facilities or universities. 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.

Job Outlook

Average

Read more

  • Estimate Decline sharply employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate -20 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2019

Compared to: All Health

  • Estimate 705 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 3180 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a moderate sized occupation in Nova Scotia, with employment around 600. The number employed in this occupation is expected to decline moderately over the next few years, which will likely limit the number of new opportunities available. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Dentists most commonly work full-time hours. Also, a large percentage of the workforce is self-employed which should be an important consideration for those thinking about employment in the occupation.

The median employment income for 45% of Dentists who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $109,666. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

N/A

Minimum

N/A

Median

N/A

Maximum

Annual Pay

$27,917

Minimum

$115,050

Median

$166,709

Maximum

Compared to: All Health

Hourly Pay

$16.38

Minimum

$30.45

Median

$41.35

Maximum

Annual Pay

$10,740

Minimum

$43,853

Median

$88,944

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Dentists examine, assess, diagnose, prevent, and treat disorders of the teeth and tissues of the mouth. They work in private practice or may be employed in hospitals, clinics, public health facilities or universities. 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.

Job duties

Dentists:

  • Examine patients' teeth, gums, and surrounding tissue to diagnose disease, injury and decay and plan appropriate treatment.
  • Restore, extract, and replace diseased and decayed teeth.
  • Perform oral surgery, periodontal surgery, and other treatments.
  • Clean teeth and instruct patients on oral hygiene.
  • Design bridgework, fit dentures and provide appliances to correct abnormal positioning of the teeth and jaws or write production instructions or prescriptions for use by denturists and dental technicians.
  • Supervise dental hygienists, dental assistants, and other staff.

Sample job titles

  • dental specialist
  • dentist
  • oral and dental surgeon
  • oral and maxillofacial surgeon
  • oral medicine specialist
  • oral pathologist
  • oral radiologist
  • oral surgeon
  • orthodontist
  • periodontist

Skills

You should be able to work carefully with your hands and have an aptitude for precise and accurate work. You should be able to work with mirror images. A reassuring manner is needed to help patients feel relaxed. You must be comfortable working with instruments and apparatus. Basic skills in operating a business are important. Artistic ability may also be helpful. You must be willing to continually update your knowledge and skills.

Job requirements

  • One to four years of pre-dentistry university studies and a university degree from a recognized dental program are required.
  • Licensing by a provincial or territorial regulatory body is required.
  • Dentists in general practice can move into a specialized practice through advanced training.
  • Licensing for specializations is required.

Other considerations

Most dentists are self-employed and operate their own practices. They usually work regular weekday hours but may work some evenings and weekends. They sometimes respond to emergencies after hours. Certification by the National Dental Examining Board of Canada entitles dentists or graduates of approved dental programs to practice dentistry in any province in Canada provided requirements set out by the provincial and territorial licensing authorities are met.

By the numbers

Quick look

575

employed in 2016

87.0%

employed full-time

65.2%

self employed

37.4%
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62.6%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
50

median age

Compared to: All Health

36,515

employed in 2016

75.7%

employed full-time

9.6%

self employed

83.6%
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16.4%
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43.5

median age

Where will I likely work?

67.2%

Halifax

12.1%

North Shore

10.3%

Cape Breton

5.2%

Southern

5.2%

Annapolis Valley

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

95.4%

Health care and social assistance

2.8%

Educational services

1.8%

Public administration

What is the age of Employment?

29.0%

45-54

21.0%

35-44

20.0%

25-34

19.0%

55-64

11.0%

65+

Compared to: All Health

24.0%

25-34

23.9%

45-54

21.9%

35-44

18.4%

55-64

7.7%

15-24

Top levels of education

85.2%

Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary, Optometry

$92,959 median annual income
11.3%

Master

$86,562 median annual income
2.6%

Doctorate

N/A
1.7%

Bachelor

N/A

Compared to: All Health

38.4%

College Diploma

$40,033 median annual income
27.1%

Bachelor

$61,668 median annual income
8.7%

Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary, Optometry

$81,191 median annual income
6.8%

High school

$24,829 median annual income
5.1%

Master

$69,296 median annual income

Education & training

Dentistry (DDS, DMD)

University Program

These programs prepare students for the independent professional practice of dentistry/dental medicine, encompassing the evaluation, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases, disorders, and conditions of the oral cavity, maxillofacial area, and adjacent structures and their impact on the human body and health. They include courses in the basic biomedical sciences, occlusion, dental health and prevention, oral pathology, cariology, operative dentistry, oral radiology, principles of the various dental specialties, pain management, oral medicine, clinic and health care management, patient counselling, and professional standards and ethics.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Oral/Maxillofacial Surgery (Cert., MSc, PhD)

University Program

These programs focus on the advanced study of the diagnosis and intrusive and adjunctive treatment of diseases, injuries, and defects of the oral and maxillofacial regions, including functional and aesthetic aspects. They include courses in pharmacology, analgesia, anesthesia, anxiety control, surgical procedures and techniques, surgical instrumentation, exodontia, oral diseases and malfunctions, soft and hard tissue pathology, dentoalveolar surgery, infection management, and prosthetic implantation.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Periodontics (Cert., MSc, PhD)

University Program

These programs focus on the advanced study of the etiology and treatment of diseases of the gingivae (gum tissue) and supporting bone, nerve, and vascular structures. They include courses in periodontium pathology, diagnostic procedures and equipment, occlusion, nutritional aspects of periodontology, surgical treatments, and patient care and management.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Prosthodontics (Cert., MSc, PhD)

University Program

These programs focus on the advanced study of the restoration and maintenance of teeth, oral function, and aesthetic form through the use of single or compound materials, structures, and artificial devices. They include courses in implant dentistry, surgical procedures, denture design and fabrication, fixed and removable prosthodontics, restorative techniques, occlusion therapy and devices, geriatric dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and temporomandibular joint dysfunction.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Dental Specialist

Right to Title and Practice: This job is regulated. The job title is protected, and you may not use it without a professional licence. A licence shows that the holder has met provincial requirements and is required to legally do this work.

Regulating body:
Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia
1559 Brunswick Street, Suite 102
Halifax, NS B3J 2G1
(902) 420-0083
(902) 492-0301
Dentist

Right to Title and Practice: This job is regulated. The job title is protected, and you may not use it without a professional licence. A licence shows that the holder has met provincial requirements and is required to legally do this work.

Regulating body:
Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia
1559 Brunswick Street, Suite 102
Halifax, NS B3J 2G1
(902) 420-0083
(902) 492-0301

Contacts

Nova Scotia Dental Association
Bedford, NS
Canadian Dental Association
Ottawa, ON
Health Care Human Resource Sector Council
Bedford, NS

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.