Speciality in Australia for dentistry


Photo Credit - @Anusha Kareem

"If you don't build your dream, someone else will hire you to help build theirs"

Tony Gaskins.


Becoming a specialist in Australia

The steps for this are

  1. Complete an AHPRA registered general dental degree.

  2. Have the equivalent of at least two years of clinical experience as a dentist.

  3. Complete an accredited three-year full-time university degree.

  4. Be registered as a Specialist with practice limited to the speciality.

Equivalence of speciality training in Australia

The competencies are used to assess overseas qualified applicants for specialist registration by:

  • assessing qualifications for equivalence to a specialist qualification approved by the Board, and

  • developing assessments or examinations.

There are 13 dental specialities in Australia which are approved by the Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council (the Ministerial Council). These specialities are:

  • Dento-maxillofacial radiology

  • Endodontics

  • Forensic odontology

  • Iral and maxillofacial surgery

  • Oral medicine

  • Oral and maxillofacial pathology

  • Oral surgery

  • Orthodontics

  • Paediatric dentistry

  • Periodontics

  • Prosthodontics

  • Public health dentistry (community dentistry), and

  • Special needs dentistry.

Specialist registration requirements include that applicants have:

  • completed a minimum of two years of general dental practice (this requirement may be achieved by experience outside Australia, subject to assessment and approval by the Board), and

  • met all other requirements for general registration as a dentist. (The ADC exam pathway)

Qualification approved by the Board

Qualification not approved by the Board

  • If you have a qualification not approved by the Board (e.g. a qualification obtained overseas) in one of the specialities listed below, see the Qualification equivalence pathway

  • I would imagine this not being very easy and straightforward. I know a senior of mine - a British citizen, who completed his MClinDent from King's College London, a specialist on the GDC register, but had to do, 3 more years of studying to get his specialisation approved.

  • The pathways for Public Health Dentistry is different and can be found here

  • If you have a qualification in oral and maxillofacial surgery, you must first apply for an assessment of your qualification with the Royal Australasian Dental College of Surgeons (the College). Oral and maxillofacial surgery is a speciality recognised by both the Dental Board of Australia and the Medical Board of Australia. You must hold qualifications in both medicine and dentistry. If you successfully complete the College’s assessment, you will need to complete and submit the application form ASOM-20.

Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario


As copied from the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario:


“Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland operate according to a mutually recognized system of accreditation of dental training. Accordingly, graduates of Canadian, American, Australian (Australian candidates must have graduated on or after March 31, 2010), New Zealander (New Zealand candidates must have graduated on or after December 14, 2011) or Irish (Irish candidates must have graduated on or after December 5, 2012) are eligible to apply directly to sit the national examinations – a written and an Objective Structured Clinically Examination (OSCE) - administered by the National Dental Examining Board of Canada (NDEB).


If your dental training was outside of these jurisdictions then you are considered to be “internationally trained.” To practise as a dentist in Ontario, you must therefore successfully complete one of these accredited four-year programs or the NDEB Equivalency Process.


For the internationally trained these two paths are the only means by which you can become eligible to take the NDEB national examination – a requirement for all candidates.


You cannot transfer your licence to practice dentistry from another Canadian jurisdiction to Ontario. Each province/territory has a dental regulatory authority that is governed by its own provincial legislation for regulated health professions.


If you are already licensed to practise dentistry in another Canadian jurisdiction, you must submit an application for licensure in Ontario. The requirements are quite similar from coast to coast, with the added requirement of being able to speak French in Quebec.


 This will give you an idea of the number of dentist and distribution by age in the province of Ontario, which you can find for all provinces to help you decide where you will want to start practising.


Video about the application process in Ontario