Dentist Registration Resources

General dentists and certified specialists must register with the British Columbia College of Oral Health Professionals in order to practise in B.C.

This page contains registration information not covered in other pages.

Reinstatement

If your registration has been lapsed for more than 60 days, you must:

  1. Ensure that you meet the Quality Assurance program requirements for continuing education and continuous practice.
  2. Complete and submit the appropriate application below:
    Application Package for Reinstatement of Lapsed Registration – Full, Specialist,
    Academic, Non-Practising

  3. Pay the applicable reinstatement and registration fees.

IMPORTANT: If you have ever been or are currently registered/licensed in another province or country, please contact that provincial or national regulatory body to request a Certificate of Standing or Letter of Standing for your BCCOHP application. The Certificate must be delivered directly to BCCOHP from the licensing/regulating body in a sealed envelope.

The Certificate is valid for up to 60 days from the date that it was signed. If applicant does not have their registration/certification process completed within the 60 days, a new Certificate will be required. 

Application for Transfer

If you are a dentist who holds current registration with BCCOHP and wishes to transfer to another class of registration, all registration requirements of the requested registration class must be met and confirmed by supporting documentation. Quality Assurance requirements (continuing education and continuous practice) must be met, if applicable.

If you are unsure whether you meet these requirements, you may contact our Registration Department staff using the contact form.

Application Package for Transfer

IMPORTANT: If you have ever been or are currently registered/licensed in another province or country, please contact that provincial or national regulatory body to request a Certificate of Standing or Letter of Standing for your BCCOHP application. The Certificate must be delivered directly to BCCOHP from the licensing/regulating body in a sealed envelope.

The Certificate is valid for up to 60 days from the date that it was signed. If applicant does not have their registration/certification process completed within the 60 days, a new Certificate will be required. 

About 10% of dentists registered with BCCOHP are certified specialists. This means they have completed a dental specialty training program as well as the National Dental Specialty Examination (NDSE) or its equivalent. These individuals have an advanced level of training and education in their area of specialized interest.

Most certified specialists can practise the full scope of a general dentist in addition to their area of specialty. A “Restricted to Specialty” registrant’s practice is restricted to their area of specialty.

This information is provided to assist the public and is not meant to define the technical scopes of practice.

​Specialist

​Description

​You might see or be referred if…

Dental Public Health Specialist

Diagnose, prevent and control dental diseases and promote oral health in the community through organized efforts and programs.

You live in a community that might require a certified specialist to travel to your town to provide dental services and initiate a dental care program with educational resources about oral health care.

Endodontist

Diagnose, treat and prevent diseases and injuries of the dental pulp (inside of the tooth) and the tissues surrounding the tooth root.

You have an injured or diseased tooth that might require root canal treatment, often of an increased level of complexity.

Oral Medicine Specialist

Diagnose and treat diseases of the mouth and jaw, including oral mucosal diseases, neuromuscular conditions such as TMJ (temporomandibular joint) pain and orofacial pain disorders (conditions). Provide dental management for people with complex medical conditions.

You have a disease or disorder of the mouth (oral mucosa); neuromuscular conditions, such as TMJ pain or a TMJ disorder (TMD); or orofacial pain disorders (conditions); or if you have a complex medical condition and require special dental care.

Oral Pathologist

Diagnose and treat diseases affecting the oral mucosa. Perform laboratory procedures on oral and maxillofacial biopsy tissues to establish a diagnosis.

Oral pathologists perform laboratory procedures on oral and maxillofacial biopsy tissues to establish a diagnosis.

Oral Medicine and Pathology Specialist

All the activities described for Oral Medicine Specialists and Oral Pathologists.

You have any of the conditions described for Oral Medicine specialists and Oral Pathologists.

Oral and Maxillofacial Radiologist

Make and interpret diagnostic images (X-rays) of the head and neck area for the diagnosis and management of diseases and disorders.

You are planning surgery for a tooth extraction that might require X-rays, or you have a condition that requires a more sophisticated evaluation.

Orthodontist

Diagnose, prevent and correct dental/facial irregularities to correctly align teeth and jaws. This is accomplished with various appliances, including braces.

You have an over-or-under bite and/or misaligned teeth that might require braces.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

Diagnose, manage and treat diseases, injuries, and defects of the face, jaws, mouth and teeth.

You have wisdom teeth that might require surgery to remove, you have unusual swelling, or you have fractured your jaw or several teeth.

Pediatric Specialist

Provide dental care and consultation for infants and children through adolescence, including those with medical concerns or special needs.

You have a child who requires comprehensive dental care that might require specific consultation and treatment.

Periodontist

Diagnose, prevent and treat diseases and conditions affecting the supporting tissues (bone and gums) of the teeth. Place dental implants (and manage associated complications), and perform procedures to improve the function and aesthetics of the mouth’s soft tissue.

You have gum disease, such as gingivitis, that might require treatment or periodontal plastic surgery to cover exposed tooth roots, correct gum and jawbone indentation or reshape and repair gum tissue.

Prosthodontist

Diagnose, restore and maintain aesthetics, function and health of teeth and jaws. Concerned with replacement of natural structure, including the repair of damaged teeth, and replacement of missing teeth (and adjoining tissues) with substitutes such as crowns, bridges and dentures.

You have lost teeth and require reconstructive dental treatment.

Many general dentists provide some of the services that fall within a specialty area. Examples include root canal treatment, orthodontics and pediatric dentistry. However, even if a general dentist performs a given treatment regularly, they may refer a patient to a certified specialist based on the dentist’s assessment of a patient’s individual oral healthcare needs.

The number of certified specialists practising in each specialty is published in our Annual Reports.

More information on dental specialties:

Labour Mobility

Dentists registered in another Canadian jurisdiction recognized under the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA), are eligible to apply for registration to practice dentistry in British Columbia. All information required for registration are noted in the application instructions and forms.

Certificate of Standing

If you are applying for registration in BC and are currently or have previously been registered in another Canadian jurisdiction, BCCOHP requires a Certificate of Standing from that jurisdiction.

The Certificate of Standing is valid for up to 60 days from the date that it was signed. If you do not have your registration process completed within the 60 days, a new Certificate will be required.​

You will find the application forms in the Dentist Registration Requirements and Forms section. 

For more information on the BC’s Labour Mobility Act, please visit their website here.

If you are an internationally trained dentist, registration with the British Columbia College of Oral Health Professionals (BCCOHP) is required in order to be able to practise as a dentist in B.C. There are different classes of registrations for dentists. Please click here to see the list of the different classes along with the application forms.

In order to apply for registration and to practise as a dentist in BC, you must complete the national examination administered by the National Dental Examining Board of Canada (NDEB). Your eligibility and path to sit the examination depends on whether you are a graduate of an accredited dental program or a non-accredited dental program. Please see below for information about the process for each.

Graduates of Accredited Dental Programs

Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland operate according to a mutually recognized system of accreditation of dental training. Graduates of an accredited dental program in Canadian, American, Australian (must have graduated on or after March 31, 2010), New Zealand (must have graduated on or after December 14, 2011) or Irish (must have graduated on or after December 5, 2012) schools are eligible to apply directly to sit the national examination administered by the National Dental Examining Board of Canada (NDEB).

For more details about the accredited programs, visit www.ndeb-bned.ca/en/accredited.

Graduates of Non-Accredited Dental Programs

If your dental training was obtained outside of the above-noted jurisdictions, you must successfully complete either an accredited full-time, two-year Qualifying Program or the NDEB Equivalency Process. These are the two paths by which you can become eligible to take the Canadian national examinations administered by the National Dental Examining Board of Canada (NDEB) – a requirement for all candidates.

Full details about the information above are available on the National Dental Examining Board of Canada’s website at www.ndeb.ca.

I’ve completed the NDEB process, now what?

Once you’ve successfully completed the appropriate NDEB process and received your NDEB certificate, please visit our Dentist Registration section to find the appropriate BCCOHP application package for you.

All Canadian jurisdictions require a completed Certificate of Standing from each regulatory body in each jurisdiction the dentist has ever been registered/licensed.

If you are applying for registration/license in another Province or Territory you will need a Certificate of Standing completed by BCCOHP staff to be sent to the receiving jurisdiction.

To request a Certificate of Standing, please complete and submit the Certificate of Standing – Consent for Release of Information Form (PDF). You may submit your completed form via our contact form or mail. There is an administrative fee of $75.00. You will be notified to make payment via email when ready. ​​

Please allow up to 15 business days for processing.

Notewe send your Certificate of Standing directly to the regulatory/licensing body on your behalf.

Dentists requiring a Letter of Standing for employment purposes, including applications for hospital privileges, must complete and submit the Letter of Standing – Consent for Release of Information Form (PDF). You may submit your completed form via our contact form or mail. There is an administrative fee of $75.00. You will be notified to make payment via email when ready.​

Please allow up to 15 business days for processing.

Note: we send your Letter of Standing directly to the organization you have listed on your form unless otherwise requested.

If you have recently moved or changed any of your contact information, you must inform BCCOHP.

You can update your address, phone number, email address or any other contact information online by logging into your account. ​

Name change

If you’ve changed your name, please submit your name change request in writing, along with a copy of your legal name document or marriage certificate, to the College via our contact form or mail.

Please allow up to 3 business days for the changes to appear on your profile.

If you are retiring as a dentist, you must take the following steps to properly inform your patients and BCCOHP of your retirement.

Step 1: Inform your patients

You must let your patients know that you are planning to retire. Provide patients with details about the future of the dental practice including:

  • whether the practice is being closed or sold to a new dentist
  • what will happen to their dental records
  • who will continue treatment for patients with planned or partially completed treatment or who have conditions that require monitoring

Step 2: Notify BCCOHP

Dentists must complete the Retirement/Resignation  form (PDF) and send it via our contact form. You will need to know the following:

  • The date you will be retiring
  • The location of your dental records

Note: During annual renewal, dentists who plan to retire must complete the online renewal process and choose the ‘Retired/Resigned’ option.

Step 3: Notify your insurer

Notify your malpractice/liability insurance provider of your retirement or resignation from the register. If you change your registration status, CPSPI will ask for confirmation. BCCOHP cannot confirm this information until we have received your written notification.

Step 4: Update your contact information

BCCOHP needs to have your up-to-date contact information. Former patients of retired dentists often contact the College for access to their dental records.

Step 5: Return prescription pads

Return all partially and fully unused prescription pads to BCCOHP to be destroyed.

Step 6: Store your dental records

According to the Limitation Act, dentists are required to keep dental records for the designated retention time:

  • Records created on or after 1 June 2013 must be kept for 16 years from the date of last entry.
  • Records created before 1 June 2013 must be kept for 31 years from the date of last entry or until 1 June 2029 (whichever comes first).
  • Exceptions to the above guidelines apply to minors and persons under a disability.

For more information about ‘Retention of Records’ read BCCOHP’s Dental Recordkeeping Guidelines (PDF).

You will need to find a secure place to store any dental records that will not be forwarded to the patient’s new dentist.