The practice of dentistry in the Canadian Armed Forces combines the highest clinical and laboratory standards with the pride of national service. In modern clinics on bases across Canada, aboard Navy ships, and in field and mobile units on exercise here at home or on deployments overseas, Dental Officers are leaders in delivering personal, professional dental care to Canadian Armed Forces members.
These Officers are members of the Canadian Armed Forces Dental Services. In addition to practicing dentistry, they may be called upon to assist other healthcare professionals when particular skills are required, and to teach classes on their areas of expertise.
Dental Officers usually spend their first four years in a dental clinic in Canada. Initially, you work in a group practice and, after a year or two of experience, you could go to a dental clinic or be attached to a Field unit.
Salary and Benefits
The starting salary for a student in the Dental Officer Training Plan is $62,000 per year. Upon completion of dental school and obtaining an unrestricted Canadian license to practice dentistry, Dental Officers are promoted to the rank of Captain and their salary is approximately $139,000 per year.
Career Training and Development
As a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, you have access to ongoing training. You also have the opportunity to travel the world and enjoy several other tangible services and benefits.
Basic Military Officer Qualification
After enrolment, you start Basic Military Officer Training, which lasts approximately three months, at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, located 40 km southeast of Montreal. The subjects you study include general military knowledge, the principles of leadership, military regulations and customs of the Canadian Armed Forces, basic weapons handling, and first aid. You have the opportunity to apply your newly acquired military skills in training exercises involving force protection, field exercises, navigation and leadership. In addition, you participate in a rigorous sports and physical fitness program. Basic Military Officer Qualification training is provided in English or French and successful completion is a prerequisite for further training.
Following your Basic Military Officer Qualification training, you may have access to official second language training. This training can take from two to nine months to complete, depending on your fluency in your second language.
You then take the Basic Dental Officer’s Course in Borden, Ontario, where you learn how to set up and use the Mobile Dental Clinic for military operations, as well as learn the administrative and clinical procedures of a Forces dental detachment.
The training includes pre-course preparation, lectures, demonstrations, practices, individual assignments, group assignments, presentations and testing. This four-week course is usually held in September.
The Forces encourage Dental Officers to upgrade and maintain their clinical skills in all aspects of dentistry, offering them numerous opportunities to take subsidized training and attend professional conferences on specializations such as:
- Oral Maxillofacial Surgery
- Public Health
- Advanced Dentistry
A Doctor of Dental Surgery degree is required to become a Dental Officer.
Dental Officer Training Plan
The Forces pay successful recruits to the Dental Officer Training Plan to complete a Doctor of Dental Surgery program at a Canadian university. Candidates receive a full-time salary, including medical and dental care, as well as vacation time with full pay. In exchange, they must work for the Forces for a specified period of time. For more information, visit the “Paid Education and Training” page on the Forces website. http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/training-paid-education/index.page
If you already have a degree in Dentistry from a recognized Canadian university, the Forces will determine if your academic program meets the criteria for this position. You may be placed directly into on-the-job training following your basic training. Basic Military Officer Qualification Training and the Basic Dental Officer Plan are required before being assigned.
To be eligible to apply to the Canadian Armed Forces, you must:
- Be a Canadian citizen.
- Be 17 years of age (with consent from a parent or legal guardian) or older, except for junior candidates in the Regular Officer Training Plan, who must be 16 or older.
- Have completed at least Grade 10 or Secondary IV in Quebec.
- Certain entry programs and occupations require higher levels of education.
Join the Forces
Learn how you can become a Dental Officer in the Canadian Armed Forces and discover all the job opportunities at Canada.ca/forces-jobs, by calling 1 800 856-8488 or by visiting a Canadian Armed Forces Recruitment Centre near you.
This position is also available part time.