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12 May, 2024

Best Dental Schools in Canada

There are various factors in determining the best dental schools in Canada. This article ranks each school based on various categories.
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While all 10 dental schools in Canada ensure your preparedness in a career in dentistry, some may be more advantageous in particular areas than others, providing ease both during and after completion of the DMD/DDS program. If you are wondering which schools may be best, below is a ranking of the Canadian dental schools based on the following factors.

  • Grading System
  • Tuition Cost (Year 1)
  • Patient Scheduling
  • Outreach Opportunities

Ranking of the Best Dental Schools in Canada

English Programs:

  1. McGill University
  2. University of Alberta
  3. University of Manitoba
  4. Dalhouse University
  5. University of Toronto
  6. Schulich School of Dental Medicine (UWO)
  7. University of Saskatchewan
  8. University of British Columbia

French Programs:

  1. University of Montreal
  2. Laval University

To get a better understanding of how these schools were ranked, keep reading below for more in-depth information!

⭐ What factors went into this rank?

1. Grading System

Dental schools in Canada may provide students with either traditional numerical grades upon the completion of their courses; similar to undergrad, or they may assign a simple ‘Pass’ or ‘Fail.’ Generally, when the P/F system is used, students are not ranked amongst their classmates which can greatly alleviate some tension during the academic year but especially so if aiming to apply to specialties, particularly in the US, after graduating from a DMD/DDS program. The table below summarizes the grading system used by each dental school in Canada as well as some schools’ passing minimums.


✓ (P = 65%)

✓ (P = 60%)    





✓ (P = 60%)    




Traditional Numerical Grading





* = Projects are P/F
! = 60% minimum required to continue in program

2. Tuition Cost (Year 1)

Below you will find the listed costs associated with the first year in a Canadian dentistry program. Please note that these are subject to change each year.












* = general average for Canadian students in graduate programs
! = general cost for Quebec residents

3. Patient Scheduling

Once clinicals begin in dental school, students are able to develop their skills with patients from the community. While some schools will leave this up to their dental students to coordinate, others will assign patients to them which may relieve any stress associated with finding community members in need of care by the respective university’s campus clinic. Take a look below to see how the different Canadian dental schools navigate this process in the later years of their DMD or DDS programs.

Patients assigned by school








Responsible for finding own patients








* = responsible for scheduling once patients assigned
! = provided a list to choose from

4. Outreach Opportunities

Fortunately, all 10 Canadian dental schools provide their students with the opportunity to get involved in their communities all while getting valuable hands-on experience. Regardless of the school you choose, you will be well equipped in providing patient care upon graduation and in eventual practice. Depending on personal preference, however, some prospective students may find it valuable to seek out opportunities to get involved internationally as well. Below, you will find a general overview of the outreach opportunities offered by each dental school in Canada.

  • UofA: Dental students get the opportunity to improve their skills by spending some time in the Boyle McCauley Health Centre Dental Clinic (BMHC). The SHINE dental clinic within BMHC allows for vulnerable populations to receive more accessible dental care. Additionally, through donations to the Dentistry Global Student Outreach Endowment Fund, a handful of dental students each year can actively participate in global dental missions such as in Peru or Guatemala.
  • UBC: The faculty provides patient care and education to 53 communities across the province with treatment for over 2,500 patients in need each year. Notably, dental students can get involved in the Geriatric Program in order to provide dental services to seniors in community residential care hospitals, programs for low-income school-aged children at UBC’s dental clinic or at a satellite dental clinic at Douglas College in New Westminster, and more. UBC’s outreach program focuses on “acute needs, population-health research and co-development strategies with community partners to prevent disease and promote oral health and wellness”
  • UofM: The Healthy Smile Happy Child (HSHC) initiative helps to promote oral health in children under six and their families. Dental students also get the opportunity to volunteer their time at the The Winnipeg Interprofessional Student-Run Health Clinic (WISH) to provide free health services, participate in the annual Sharing Smiles Day to become better equipped with providing care to people from all walks of life, and visit elementary schools to assess children’s teeth and refer them to the university’s clinic. UofM students are also able to provide such support through various other clinics.
  • Dal: Dentists and dental students work together at the Halifax clinic to provide affordable dental care to thousands of patients annually. Additionally, through outreach clinics and educational programs in Newfoundland, elementary schools, for Labrador’s Inuit communities, for new immigrant populations, and more, Dalhousie’s dental students work to promote healthy smiles amongst underserved populations.
  • UofT: Dental students are able to broaden their skills by providing care to the community through clinics in northern Ontario as well as international programs held in Uganda, Honduras, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, and Ethiopia. Such programs aim to prepare dental students in providing compassionate community care.
  • UWO: To instill the importance of social responsibility and community outreach, UWO allows its dental students to participate in the Dental Outreach Community Services (DOCS) and Oral Health Total Health (OHTH) programs. Volunteers at DOCS are able to provide free dental care to those in need while the OHTH program helps to raise funds for Sharing Smiles Day where students provide oral hygiene instruction to patients with special needs.
  • McGill: The Mobile Outreach Clinic provides free dental care and promotes oral health education to vulnerable populations in Montreal. Run by dental students and volunteer dentists, patients are able to obtain better access to treatments such as cleanings, fillings, and extractions. Additionally, students are able to volunteer their time to better support seniors at home, children and teens, refugees and immigrants, adults with autism and/or intellectual disability, and those without insurance.
  • UdeM: Fifth year dental students volunteer their time at Dentaville, a social dentistry clinic at Hôpital Notre-Dame that provides front-line care to people who are socially vulnerable. Working with professors and dentists, dental students treat all ages in the community, providing care pertaining to bone and gum diseases, orthodontics, and more.
  • Laval: Third and fourth year dental students work with licensed dentists to provide affordable dental care at the campus clinic to the greater population of Quebec City. This allows students to advance their learning while helping to improve the oral health of the community.
  • UofS: Dental students work to provide support to the population in Saskatchewan through university clinics as well as clinics in the greater community. Under the supervision of licensed dentists, dental students volunteer their time to promote oral health to priority populations in a culturally appropriate manner.

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