A specialist is a dentist who has pursued and completed additional post graduate training in a specific field of dentistry. Post graduate programs are typically from two to six years of clinical training, study, and research at an accredited university. Upon successful completion of the advanced study and training, it is necessary to pass both an oral and written fellowship examination administered by the Royal College of Dentists of Canada (www.rcdc.ca) before formal recognition as a certified specialist in Canada. Licensure to practice in British Columbia as a specialist is governed by the College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia (www.cdsbc.org).
Certified specialists are dentists and are governed by the same ethical guidelines and professional regulations. A dentist will refer a patient to a specialist to complement or enhance the professional dental care a person receives. Specialists will work in conjunction with a patient and their dentist. Unlike a medical specialist, it is NOT necessary to have a referral from health professional to see a certified dental specialist.
You have the right to contact a dental specialist directly for an appointment.
The DSSBC web site will help you find a certified dental specialist. In addition, both the College of Dental Surgeons of B.C. (www.cdsbc.org) and the B.C. Dental Association (www.bcdental.org) are great resources for finding a local certified specialist. The recognised specialties in BC are:
- Dental Public Health
- Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
- Oral Medicine
- Oral Pathology
- Oral Radiology
The mission of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada (RCDC) is to maintain the high standards of specialty education, practice and certification for the recognised dental specialties. Please visit the RCDC web page for more information about dental specialties in Canada (www.rcdc.ca).