The practice of dentistry in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) 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 CAF members.
These Officers are members of the CAF 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 in their areas of expertise.
Normally, Dental Officers 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 small one-dental clinic or be attached to a Field unit.
To be eligible to apply to the CAF, you must:
- be a Canadian citizen
- be at least 18 years old (17 years old with parental consent), except:
- For the Paid Education programs—you may be 16 years old (with parental consent)
- For the Primary Reserves—you may be 16 years old (with parental consent) and must be enrolled as a full-time student
- have completed at least Grade 10 or Secondaire IV in Québec (some jobs need higher levels of education)
Related civilian occupations
- Public health dentist
- Oral and maxillofacial surgeon
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 CAF, 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.
Dental Officers attend Basic Dental Officer’s Course in Borden, Ontario. You will 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 CAF 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 General Dentistry
If you already have a degree in Dentistry from a recognized Canadian university and a valid licence to practise dentistry in a Canadian province or territory, the CAF may place you directly into the required military training program following basic training. Basic training and military officer qualification training are required before being assigned.
Dental Officer Training Plan (DOTP)
Because this position requires a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree, the CAF will pay successful recruits to complete a DDS program at a Canadian university.
For the duration of your studies, you receive full-time salary including medical and dental care, as well as vacation time with full-pay in exchange for working with the CAF for a period of time. Typically, candidates selected for this program attend university during the regular academic year and participate in additional military training during the summer months. If you choose to apply to this program, you must apply both to the CAF and the Canadian university of your choice that offers a dentistry program.
For further information, please contact a Canadian Forces Health Services Recruiter.
Join the Forces
This position is also available on a part-time basis. To learn more about becoming a Dental Officer, talk to a recruiter at a centre nearest you or call 1-800-856-8488.
Discover over 100 other job opportunities at Forces.ca.
Job Types: Full-time, Part-time