The 10 Best Dental Schools in Canada

At College Gazette, we’ve covered some of the best medical and dental schools in the United States. Schools such as Johns Hopkins, Harvard, and NYU have received a lot of attention from us, and with good reason. 

But you don’t have to come to the U.S. to get a great medical and dental education. There are programs all around the world, who not only give their students everything they need to become excellent practitioners, but also the skills to care for their communities. 

It should come as no surprise that Canada has several excellent dental schools. These programs take seriously their mission to train future dentists and their commitment to the community. 

To help those who want to do their dental training in Canada, we’ve prepared this list of the ten best schools. 

Each of these schools feature everything you’d expect from a first-rate program, including state-of-the-art resources, skilled and experienced teachers, and clinical partnerships with local hospitals. 

With that in mind, how do they distinguish themselves from one another? 

Following the U.S. News & World Report rankings for the schools’ parent universities, we have added additional information about alumni, important programs, and research agendas. 

With this list, future dentists of Canada can make their schooling choices with confidence. 

10. University of Saskatchewan College of Dentistry (Saskatoon, SK)

University of Saskatchewan
SriMesh, UofS Memorial Gates, CC BY-SA 3.0

Since 1965, the College of Dentistry at the University of Saskatchewan has been educating dentists and researchers in western Canada. The province’s first fully accredited dental program, the College of Dentistry is devoted to improving the quality of dentistry and serving the community. 

The school’s commitment to the community can be seen in its building location in Saskatoon, on Treaty Six territory on the traditional homeland of the Métis. The building houses the Student Dental Clinic. In addition to giving students hands-on training, the dental clinic serves over 10,000 clients each year. 

9. University of Manitoba Niznick College of Dentistry (Winnipeg, MB)

University of Manitoba
Saforrest, University Centre at University of Manitoba, CC BY 3.0

At the University of Manitoba, the Niznick College of Dentistry emphasizes oral health promotion, disease prevention, and therapeutic means. To that end, the school is devoted to advancing research in dentistry. 

Dentists in the Manitoba Chemosensory Biology Research Group works with other experts to study the human chemical senses. By interacting with these other experts, dental researchers find new avenues of oral care. 

At the International Centre for Oral-Systemic Health (ICOSH), scientists approach gum disease and tooth decay as symptoms of more significant problems. Designed to address a knowledge gap in dental science, the ICOSH is an academic center that provides significant training in tools for professionals from every healthcare field. 

With these excellent resources, the Niznick College of Dentistry is pushing the field further into the 21st century and improving health for all of Canada. 

8. Université Laval Faculté de Médecine Dentaire (Quebec City, QC)

Laval University
Gilbert Bochenek, Grand Séminaire Québec, CC BY 3.0

As a first-class graduate institution, Quebec’s Université Laval Faculté de Médecine Dentaire works to integrate progressive research into the teaching and training of doctoral students. 

Since the school’s establishment in 1971, it has expanded to offer a doctorate program in the general practice of dentistry, as well as graduate programs in multidisciplinary dentistry, oral and maxillary surgery. facial, gerodontology, and periodontics. 

The school’s major research initiatives advance these goals. Since 1989, the Oral Ecology Research Group has studied oral microbiology-immunology and the control of infection and industrial fermentation. 

The Center of Excellence for Oral Health and Aging studies oral care among seniors, researching the relationship between aging and oral health. 

These initiatives provide the basis for the school’s curriculum, allowing students to participate in the programs while learning their trade. 

7. Dalhousie University Faculty of Dentistry (Halifax, NS)

Dalhousie University
Citobun, Dalhousie University Medjuck Building, CC BY-SA 4.0

Among the oldest universities in Canada, the Dalhousie University Faculty of Dentistry boasts direct interaction between students and teachers. With small class sizes, faculty can devote more time and attention to their students, ensuring their comprehension of core ideas. 

Students gain this training in Dalhousie’s first-class dental clinics. At the undergraduate clinic, students practice on state-of-the-art phantom/mannequin heads in student dental chairs. Through these programs, students learn several treatments, such as root canals, crowns, fillings, and more. 

For more focused training, students can work in one of the school’s specialty clinics. The university operates three outreach clinics, including two in public elementary schools. At these clinics, students gain hands-on experience while caring for underprivileged communities.

 At the school’s emergency clinic, residents treat medically compromised patients and those in need of immediate care. 

Working under the supervision of senior faculty, students in these clinics gain real-world experience to prepare them for their own practice. 

6. Western University Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry (London, ON)

Western University
R.schneider101, University College, Western University, CC BY-SA 4.0

Established in 1964 and merged with the medical school in 1997, the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University takes a patient-centered approach. 

With small class sizes, students work closely with faculty members to immediately apply the concepts that they learn in lecture and theory courses. 

Schulich Dentistry gives future dentists multiple opportunities to apply their trade, but two of the most important are the Dental Outreach Community Services (DOCS) and Oral Health Total Health (OHTH) programs.

Through DOCS, community members without dental coverage receive treatment. Since 2012, DOCS has been integrated into the dental curriculum, requiring all students to spend time working in the program.

The Oral Health, Total Health is an entirely student-run outreach program. Students do all of the fundraising for the program and provide oral hygiene instruction to patients with special needs.

5. Université de Montréal Faculty of Dental Medicine (Montreal, QC)

University of Montreal
Jeangagnon, Complexe des sciences – Universite de Montreal, CC BY-SA 4.0

In addition to improving the oral health of Quebec’s population, the Dental Clinic of Université de Montréal emphasizes the training of future dentists. 

To this end, Montréal Dental provides multiple opportunities for students to gain hands-on training. 

That hands-on training begins in a student’s first year of study, during which students work on practice mannequins in a preclinical simulation laboratory. Preclinical simulation laboratory work emphasizes providing excellent care under time restraints, keeping in mind the effects of anesthesia. 

According to the university, the preclinical laboratory forces students to learn how to operate in a distracting environment. Exposing future dentists to the loud noises of instruments and the odors of chemicals, the lab gives them a look at real-world working conditions. 

Advanced students work with actual patients in the Clinic of the Faculty of Dentistry, which serves more than 40,000 each year. 

With these resources in place, future dentists are sufficiently prepared to go into the profession. 

4. University of Alberta School of Dentistry (Edmonton, AB)

University of Alberta
Public domain photo via Wikimedia Commons

For over 100 years, the School of Dentistry at the University of Alberta has been leading the way in dental excellence and research. 

The school’s success can be measured by the work done by its students and alumni. 2021 graduates Reid Boulet and Walter Junikiewicz established Access for All, a non-profit program to provide dental care to secluded populations in Northern Alberta. 

DDS student Tasha Hou was one of 10 winners of the 2021 3M National Student Fellowship Award. The award recognizes student leaders who see and address needs in higher education. 

As these examples demonstrate, Alberta Dentistry not only gives future dentists the knowledge and skills they need, but also instills in them a sense of responsibility. These professionals take their training into the world to improve the oral health of others. 

3. McGill University Faculty of Dentistry (Montreal, QC)

McGill University Faculty of Dentistry
Nhlsens, McGill Faculty of Dentistry Building, CC BY-SA 4.0

As one of the world’s most impressive universities, it’s no surprise that McGill University’s Faculty of Dentistry nears the top of this list. Since its founding in 1904, McGill Dentistry works closely with some of the best hospitals in the province, including Montreal General Hospital, Jewish General Hospital, Montreal Children’s Hospital, and McGill University Faculty of Medicine.

Thanks to its reputation and excellent work, McGill Dentistry is extremely competitive. In 2018, the school had an acceptance rate of 4.6%, accepting only 37-38 students each year. Those who do make it in have excellent credentials, including an average GPA of 3.90. 

Despite the difficulties of joining the program, McGill Dentistry gives future dentists remarkable opportunities. Students get to learn under groundbreaking teachers such as Dr. Jocelyn Feine. Thanks to her pioneering work on dental implants, Dr. Feine has become a senior fellow in the International Team of Implantology. 

2. University of British Columbia Faculty of Dentistry (Vancouver, BC)

University of British Columbia
Dllu, Interior of the UBC Student Union Building, CC BY-SA 4.0

The University of British Columbia Faculty of Dentistry offers several undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as postgraduate programs.

But one of the most compelling elements is the school’s continuing education program. Since the early 1970s, the Division of Continuing Dental Education has been helping dental professionals remain up-to-date on the latest movements and technologies. With online offerings, study groups, and advanced modules to serve professionals. 

The school also boasts an excellent and accomplished faculty. Faculty member Dr. Riki Gottlieb recently became a Fellow of the American College of Dentists. Her appointment reflects her success in dentistry and academics. 

In other breakthroughs, Dr. Chris Overall joined a research team to map the human proteome. Dr. Overall’s work helps future dentists understand the nature of human life, information that will prepare them to better care for oral health. 

1. University of Toronto Faculty of Dentistry (Toronto, ON)

University of Toronto Faculty of Dentistry
SimonP, University of Toronto Faculty of Dentistry, CC BY-SA 3.0

Coming in at the top spot is the Faculty of Dentistry of the University of Toronto. That shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, given that the school is the largest dental school in Canada and one of the country’s oldest. 

Located among the hospitals and research institutes of Downtown Toronto’s Discovery District, Toronto Dentistry offers internationally recognized Doctor of Dental Surgery and International Dentist Advanced Placement Program degrees. In addition, the school has several notable degrees, including a program in Dental Public Health. 

Advanced students receive practical training in one of the 13 yearly residencies in some of the best teaching hospitals in the city, such as the Hospital for Sick Children, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and Mount Sinai Hospital.

In addition, Toronto Dentistry is a leader in dental research. The Collaborative Advanced Microscopy Laboratories of Dentistry provides advanced technology to help study the human body. The Faculty of Dentistry is also a key collaborator in establishing the Institute of Biomedical Engineering, a world leader in the field of biomedical engineering.