About Dental Specialists

In Canada, a dentist can apply for recognition as a certified specialist after:

  • completing an additional two to six years of post graduate training in a specific field of dentistry; and
  • passing both an oral and written fellowship examination by the Royal College of Dentists of Canada (RCDC). The RCDC's mission is to maintain the high standards of specialty education, practice and certification for the recognized dental specialties.

In British Columbia, the recognition of a certified specialist is governed by the College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia. Dental specialists are governed by the same ethical guidelines and professional regulations.

Recognized specialties in BC:

  • Dental Public Health
  • Endodontics
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Oral Medicine
  • Oral Pathology
  • Oral Radiology
  • Orthodontics
  • Pediatric Dentistry
  • Periodontics
  • Prosthodontics

Working with a specialist:

A general dentist will refer to a specialist to compliment or enhance the oral care a person is receiving. The referral is often for both diagnosis and treatment and occasionally for a diagnosis and a professional opinion.

Dental specialists most often work in conjunction with both you and your general dentist. However, a referral from a general dentist is not necessary for you to see a specialist; every person has the right to contact a dental specialist directly.

Find a specialist: 

Visit Find a Dentist for a list of certified specialists accepting new patients; a complete list of licensed practising specialists in BC can be found through the College of Dental Surgeons of BC.