How to become a specialist dentist

You can become a specialist in areas such as endodontics or oral and maxillofacial surgery through our MSc or PhD program with specialist clinical training.

We are the only school in Canada to offer advanced training in all 10 of the specialties recognized by the Canadian Dental Association, as well as Dental Anaesthesia.

Seeking curious minds to provide the best patient care

Our emphasis is on holistic patient care and prevention, as well as providing the best possible treatment, based on the latest research.

Joining our specialist training program means you will be taught by leading dentists and researchers and have access to our in-house clinics which see over 90,000 patients a year.

You will also get the opportunity to work in some of Canada's most renowned teaching hospitals, including the Hospital for Sick Children and Mount Sinai Hospital.

All our programs involve original research: you don’t just learn to be a specialist dentist, you learn how to advance your field and lead with excellence.

All our specialist programs follow the same application process, which is outlined below. However, some dates and details may vary slightly so check the specialty you are interested in for any specific requirements for that program.

Our specialties

Find out more about each specialty including program director, when and how to apply.

Dental Anaesthesia
  • Program director: Dr. Michelle Wong
  • Application window: April 1 ‚Äď September 1
  • Application process: Varies from standard
  • Typical program start date: End of August

Full Dental Anaesthesia information

 

Dental Public Health

Also available for dental hygienists

  • Program director: Dr. Carlos Qui√Īonez
  • Application window: April 1 ‚Äď January 15
  • Application process: Standard
  • Typical program start date: Start of September

Full Dental Public Health information

 

Endodontics
  • Program director: Dr. Bettina Basrani
  • Application window: April 1 ‚Äď June 1
  • Application process: Standard
  • Typical program start date: Start of August

Full Endodontics information

 

Oral Pathology and Oral Medicine
  • Program director: Dr. Grace Bradley
  • Application window: April 1 ‚Äď September 1
  • Application process: Varies from standard
  • Typical program start date: Start of July

Full Oral Pathology and Oral Medicine information

 

Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology
  • Program director: Dr. Ernest Lam
  • Application window: April 1 ‚Äď September 1
  • Application process: Standard
  • Typical program start date: Start of August

Full Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology information

 

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Program director: Dr. Marco Caminiti
  • Application window: April 1 ‚Äď August 1
  • Application process: Varies from standard
  • Typical program start date: Start of July

Full Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery information

 

Orthodontics
  • Program director: Professor Sunjay Suri
  • Application window: April 1 ‚Äď September 1
  • Application process: Standard
  • Typical program start date: Start of June

Full Orthodontics information

 

Pediatric Dentistry
  • Program director: Dr. Karen Campbell
  • Application window: April 1 ‚Äď September 1
  • Application process: Standard
  • Typical program start date: Start of July

Full Paediatric Dentistry information

 

Periodontics 
  • Program director: Dr. Vanessa Mendes
  • Application window: April 1 ‚Äď June 1
  • Application process: Standard
  • Typical program start date: Start of July

Full Periodontics information

 

Prosthodontics 
  • Program director: Dr. David Chvartszaid
  • Application window: April 1 ‚Äď August 1
  • Application process: Standard
  • Typical program start date: Start of August

Full Prosthodontics  information

 

 

Which to choose: MSc or PhD? Thesis or no thesis?

You have options with your specialty training.

Master of Science (MSc)

The MSc can be two, three¬†or four¬†years, depending on the requirements of your specialty ‚Äď check your specialty (linked above) for exact timings.

You will follow a timetable of study and research.

MSc thesis option: This will give you advanced training in both clinic and research. If you want to start with an MSc with the option to progress to a PhD in year two or three, choose this option.

MSc coursework-only option: If you want to become a specialist dentist and are not planning to complete a PhD or advanced research. You will complete additional coursework and practical research, but you do not need to complete a thesis.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The PhD can be five to seven¬†years¬†depending on the requirements of your specialty ‚Äď check your specialty¬†(linked above) for exact timings.

Although you will need to complete some mandatory courses, the emphasis of the PhD is on independent study and research and your timetable is built for you as an individual.

Standard application process

Our application process is run jointly with the School of Graduate studies.

Eligibility

The MSc with clinical specialty training programs are not funded except for Oral Medicine and Pathology, and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

If you transfer from the MSc with clinical specialty training to the PhD with clinical specialty training, or if you obtain direct entry into the PhD with clinical specialty training, you and your supervisor should consult the Graduate Office for a funding formula.  

You must be a licensed dentist, or have a graduate permit from the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario (RCDSO), by the time your program begins. You can apply before you have your licence or permit.

You must hold a degree in Dentistry (DDS, DMD or equivalent) from a recognized university and will need to be certified to practice dentistry in Ontario before registration.

  • For the MSc programs: you must have a final year average in your Dentistry program of at least a B+ (3.30 from a scale of 4.00 GPA).
  • For the PhD program: you must have a final year average in your Dentistry program of at least an A- (3.70 from a scale of 4.00 GPA).

The International Degree Equivalencies tool on the School of Graduate Studies website will help you determine if your international degree makes you eligible.

Application process: how to apply for an MSc or PhD with specialty clinical training

Stage one: Complete the online application form on the School of Graduate Studies website. 

Getting documents to us

Upload them directly to the online application

By email

admissions@dentistry.utoronto.ca

By mail

Admissions Office
Faculty of Dentistry
124 Edward Street, Room 104
Toronto, ON M5G 1G6

By fax

+1 (416) 979-4944

This includes submitting*:

  1. Your current curriculum vitae (CV) or resume.
  2. A statement of clinical and research interest. Include information on your background, interest, aptitude and ability for the Specialty Program. If available, include information on the research project you wish to pursue. 
  3. Two letters of reference from individuals (preferably university faculty members) who are familiar with your previous academic work. Once you enter you referees’ information on the online application, they will receive an email with a link to upload their letter. If your referees are submitting hard copies of their reference letters, ask them to enclose the letter in a sealed envelope with a signature across the seal.
  4. Paying the non-refundable application service fee of $290 CAD.

* For applicants who attended a DDS/DMD program where only Pass/Fail grades are provided on the official transcript, please also include the following additional items in your application:

i)    A letter from the Dean or his/her designate that includes the applicants individual course grades or final grade point averages for all years of study. This letter should also include the applicant's class rank, if available. 

ii)   The names and contact information (e-mail and/or telephone number) of 2 additional referees that we may contact to enquire about your didactic and/or clinical performance. Formal letters are not required from these individuals. 

Stage two: in addition to the above, please ensure the Admissions Office at the Faculty of Dentistry receives:

  1. Official transcripts of all your previous university and other post-secondary education. Transcripts must be sent to the Admissions Office directly from the issuing institution in electronic format or a sealed envelope. If not originally in English, a notarized translation must be attached. If you are a University of Toronto student already, you do not need to send in your official University of Toronto transcripts, we will download them from ROSI.
  2. If you completed your first degree in a country where English is not the native language, you must provide proof of your English standards by completing an English proficiency test. You must request official test scores are sent by the testing agency directly to the Admissions Office using our institution code of 0982.

We recognize the following tests

Test Minimum requirements
Test of English as a Foreign (TOEFL)

Paper-based Test (PBT): 580 (out of 677) with the Test of Written English (TWE) 5 (out of 6)

Internet-based Test (iBT): 93 (out of 120) with a minimum of 22 in writing.

Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) Overall score of 85.
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic Module Overall band of 7, with no band below 6.5.
The Certificate of Proficiency in English (COPE) Overall score of 76, with 32 in Writing and 22 in each of the Reading and Listening sections.
Academic Preparation ESL, School of Continuing Studies, University of Toronto. Grade 'B' at the 60/Advanced level.

 

Reminder: some specialty programs have eligibility or admissions requirements in addition to the above ‚Äď please check your individual program.

How we select students and when you will hear

There is a Graduate Admission Committee for each dental specialty program and they will decide if you will be shortlisted.

We will email you to let you know if you have been successful and invite you to an interview. The timings are listed under each specific specialty (see the first table on this page). If you are unsuccessful, we will also let you know at this time.

You will then need to pay a $2,000 (CAD) non-refundable deposit which will be applied to your fees, providing you register for the program.

 

Your health and communicable diseases

We expect all our students to be in a state of health which allows them to participate in the academic program, including patient care, without posing a risk to themselves or to others. 

If you have a communicable disease, you may pursue your studies only if you do not pose a health or safety hazard to yourself or others, and can take part in all clinical work, which is essential to complete your program.

If you carry the hepatitis B virus (HBV), your offer of registration will be conditional until the Expert Panel on Infectious Diseases reviews your case.

Your health status, and that of all our students, will remain confidential.  

How much it costs

Annual tuition fees vary year to year.

You can get an indication of the fees using the University of Toronto budgeting Tuition Fee Lookup Tool.

Contact admissions@dentistry.utoronto.ca if you have any questions.

For information on funding and financial assistance, see You have been offered a place: what happens next?

 

Have questions? Contact us

admissions@dentistry.utoronto.ca

+1 416 864 8113