The Royal College of Dentists of Canada (RCDC) was established to promote high standards of specialization in the dental profession and to recognize properly trained dental specialists. This is accomplished through examinations created specifically for each dental specialty.
The National Dental Specialty Examination (NDSE) is administered by The Royal College of Dentists of Canada and is used by many provincial dental regulatory authorities as part of the requirement for licensure as a specialist.
The NDSE is offered in nine different specialties, as well as for Dental Sciences. For specific information about your specialty, go to RCDC’s website at www.rcdc.ca
New applicants wishing to undertake the National Dental Specialty Examination (NDSE) must fulfill the following criteria prior to applying:
Pathway I • having completed or being, at the time of taking the Examination, in the final year of a dental specialty training program which, during the course of the candidate’s enrolment in the program, was accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada (CDAC) or an accreditation body with which the CDAC has a reciprocal accreditation agreement; OR
Pathway II • having completed the Dental Specialists Core Knowledge Examination (DSCKE), administered by the National Dental Examining Board of Canada (NDEB) AND having completed a Dental Specialty Assessment and Training Program (DSATP) for internationally trained dental specialists which, during the course of the candidate’s enrolment in the DSATP, was a part of a specialty training program accredited by the CDAC or an accreditation body with which the CDAC has a reciprocal accreditation agreement.
* We recommend you visit the following links for the universities that offer the DSATP:
– The University of Toronto Faculty of Dentistry (http://www.utoronto.ca/dentistry/admissions/dsatp/dentalspecialties.html)
– The University of British Columbia Faculty of Dentistry (www.dentistry.ubc.ca)
– The University of Alberta Department of Dentistry (http://www.dentistry.ualberta.ca/ContinuingDentalEducation/DSATP-Ortho.aspx)
You will need to provide RCDC with a completed application form for the year in which you’re applying, along with proof that you have the required training and the appropriate examination fee before the published application deadline for that year.
DSCKE (Dental Specialty Core Knowledge Examination) Information
For Internationally Trained Dental Specialists that graduated from a non-accredited dental specialist program and intend become eligible for the National Dental Specialty Examination via Pathway 2 , the first step is to apply to the National Dental Examining Board (NDEB) for the Dental Specialty Core Knowledge Examination (DSCKE).
The DSCKE is an examination that evaluates candidates from non-accredited dental specialty programs that are intending to apply to a Dental Specialty Assessment and Training Program (DSATP). The Dental Specialty Core Knowledge Examination (DSCKE) is given in one 3 hour session. The examination consists of multiple choice type questions with one or more correct answers.
The Exam Blueprint outlined below gives the content areas and approximate percentage of questions in each of the content areas.
Scientific Literature Appraisal Skills – 20 %
Diagnostic Sciences – 50 %
Patient Management – 30 %
Additional details regarding the application process, dates, fees, and sample questions are available on the National Dental Examining Board website at http://www.ndeb.ca/non-accredited-specialty.
It should be noted that RCDC does not administer the DSCKE. For more information, please visit the National Dental Examining Board (NDEB) website.
The DSCKE is used to facilitate the admission process for entry into Dental Specialty Assessment and Training Programs (DSATP) offered by various Canadian Faculties of Dentistry.
Upon successful completion of the DSCKE, a candidate can proceed to apply for the DSATP at one of the Dental Faculties in Canada.
In order to write the Dental Specialties Assessment and Training Program (DSATP), applicants must be graduates of a specialty dental program not recognized by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada (CDAC).
The Dental Specialty Assessment and Training Program (DSATP) is a university gap training program with an initial assessment and duration of a minimum of three months, to a maximum of 12 months.
The program, intended for graduates of non-accredited dental specialty programs, is designed to clinically assess applicants to determine whether they have the knowledge, skill, and judgment equivalent to the standards that are set for those who graduate from an accredited university recognized by the CDAC.s
The DSATP is currently offered at three Canadian universities: University of Toronto, University of Alberta and University of British Columbia (for more information, see below).
NOTE: Applicants must complete the Dental Specialty Core Knowledge Examination (DSCKE) prior to applying for the DSATP.
The following is a list of accredited dental institutions that offer the DSATP. Please be aware that the number of individuals accepted into these programs will be limited by the resources available to the Faculties of Dentistry.
University of British Columbia
Vicky Koulouris, Manager of Admissions [email protected]
UBC Dentistry Admissions Department
2199 Wesbrook Mall
University of Alberta
Department of Dentistry
Edmonton Clinic Health Academy
11405 – 87 Avenue NW
University of Toronto
Faculty of Dentistry
124 Edward Street
Dental Public Health
Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Oral Medicine/Oral Pathology
Accredited Universities – For Dental Specialists
Dental specialist programs in Canada are accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation in Canada (CDAC); you can view a list of accredited programs on the CDAC’s website.
Please note that your dental specialist program must have been accredited at the time of your enrolment. If you graduated from your program before it was recognized as accredited, you will not qualify to take the NDSE directly, but must go through the DSATP pathway if you graduated from a non-accredited dental specialist program.
Due to a reciprocity agreement with the United States, programs accredited by the American Dental Association (ADA) Commission on Dental Accreditation are recognized in Canada. You can apply for the NDSE directly if you have graduated from an accredited American program. A list of qualifying programs can be found on the ADA’s website. Although CDAC has a reciprocal agreement with the Australian Dental Council, and the Dental Council of New Zealand it only applies to general dentistry programs.
Individuals attending dental programs in one country and planning to practice in another country should carefully investigate the requirements of the licensing jurisdiction where they wish to practice.
For more detailed information about how to become a licensed specialist in Canada, go to the RCDC website. www.rcdc.ca
All above information provided courtesy of RCDC at www.rcdc.ca.