Q&A

Can you explain the procedure of doing MDS in orthodontics in Canada or Australia?

May 8, 2020

I’m a senior resident and a Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon. I found your site very interesting and knowledgeable. Can you please provide information regarding Oral surgery in Canada and Europe, like how to get there and the exams, job opportunity, etc. It would be beneficial for me. Thanks and stay safe and healthy.

May 6, 2020

I want to know if we could apply for residency in US or Australia in OMFS after doing MDS in India and clearing the respective license exams? Please do reply

July 16,2020

Can you explain the procedure of doing MDS in orthodontics in Canada or Australia? (May 8, 2020)

Indian degrees are not directly recognized by Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada or Dental Board of Australia. Before planning for post graduation studies in Canada or Australia, one has to pass the equivalency exams to get bachelor’s degree recognized first.

Below is the overview of equivalency examinations in both countries:

India-trained dentist in Canada

Various pathways of obtaining license to work as general dentist in Canada

India-trained dentists can work in Canada after clearing the National Dental Examining Board of Canada (NDEB) equivalency process or by opting for International Dentist Advanced Placement Program in a Canadian school.

Pathway 1:  Process for appearing for NDEB examination or equivalency process

*Fees are subject to change.

  Pathway 2: International Dentist Advanced Placement Program in a Canadian school

  • The International Dentist Advanced Placement Program (IDAPP) is a special university program held over five-six months.
  • Minimum requirement:
    • Canadian citizen or permanent resident
    • Graduated from a university (not recognized in Canada) with minimum of four years course
    • Overall grade point average of 3.0 (4.0 scale) for all dental coursework
    • Must have cleared an English proficiency test
    • Should have appeared for assessment of fundamental knowledge (AFK) exam (valid for 3 years)
  • After completion of this course, one can directly get admitted into third year of four years’ DDS program in a Canadian dental school
  • Once one completes the DDS in Canadian school, one can directly apply for NDEB certification process (step 5 – step 7 as mentioned in the flow chart)
  • Fees of IDAPP: CAD 54,000; Duration of IDAPP: 6 months

After completion of equivalency examination, one can apply for the specialty course.

India-trained dentist in Australia

Australian Dental Council equivalency examinations include 4-part theory exams, followed by a practical examination. One can take the theory exams in several Indian cities.

*Fees are subject to change

After clearing the equivalency exams, one needs to work as general dentist for 2 years. Then one can join the 3-year, full time university course in the specialty of interest.

You may learn more from the journey of Dr. Neha, which you can access here.

Hope this helps you.

Regards, Dr Shilpy


I’m a senior resident and a Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon. I found your site very interesting and knowledgeable. Can you please provide information regarding Oral surgery in Canada and Europe, like how to get there and the exams, job opportunity, etc. It would be beneficial for me. Thanks and stay safe and healthy. (May 6, 2020)

Let me start with Canada. India-trained dentists can work in Canada after clearing the National Dental Examining Board of Canada (NDEB) equivalency process or by opting for International Dentist Advanced Placement Program in a Canadian school.

Pathway 1:  Process for appearing for NDEB examination or equivalency process

* Fees are subject to change. Kindly refer to the NDEB website

 Pathway 2: International Dentist Advanced Placement Program in a Canadian school

  • The International Dentist Advanced Placement Program (IDAPP) is a university program which takes six months
  • Minimum requirement:
    • Canadian citizen or permanent resident
    • Graduated from a university (not recognized in Canada) with minimum of four years course
    • Overall grade point average of 3.0 (4.0 scale) for all dental coursework
    • Must have cleared an English proficiency test
    • Should have appeared for assessment of fundamental knowledge (AFK) exam (valid for 3 years)
  • After completion of this course, one can directly get admitted into third year of four years’ DDS program in a Canadian dental school
  • Once you complete your DDS in Canadian school, you can directly apply for NDEB certification process (step 5 – step 7 as mentioned in flow chart)

Fee of IDAPP: CAD 54,000; Duration of IDAPP: 6 months

India-trained specialists are not directly recognized in Canada. In order to work as specialist in Canada following pathways can be considered:

Pathway 1:

Apply for the NBED equivalency examination, obtain license as general dentist, apply for specialty program in various universities, clear National dental specialty examination (NDSE) at the end of course and get a license as specialist. There are six Canadian Training Centres for candidates to obtain their education as an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon after completion of DDS or equivalency procedure. Accredited universities are:

Duration of specialty program: 4-6 years

Pathway 2:  

*Fees are subject to change

The DSATP is currently offered at three Canadian universities: University of Toronto, University of Alberta, and University of British Columbia. Oral and maxillofacial surgery program is available only in University of Toronto. Please note that there are very few positions available in the DSATPs.

Europe

In most of the countries in Europe, Oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMFS) is considered different from oral surgery. OMFS is a specialty course which requires medical degree after completion of dental degree. One needs to have lot of patience and money and expertise in native language to work as oral and maxillofacial surgeon. It is one of the toughest nuts to crack. The pointers below outline various considerations in different countries in Europe.

Nordic countries

  • In the Nordic countries (e.g., Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Iceland), OMFS trainees do not require a medical degree
  • Helsinki University in Finland is the only university which advocates double diploma for a Specialist degree in OMFS
  • Specialty training in OMFS is available in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Norway, which is usually carried out in the hospitals attached to dental schools
  • Training programs vary from 4 to 6 years
  • Dental degree of an India-trained dentist is not recognized as equivalent to the Norwegian dentist qualification by the office of Norwegian Registration Authority for Health Personnel (SAK) or Helsedirektoratet (HDIR)
  • In order to practice in Nordic countries, one should clear language test until B2 level, do some vocational course, and clear equivalency exam to get a license to practice

United Kingdom

  • The majority of Consultants in OMFS in the UK qualify in dentistry before qualifying in medicine
  • MDS in OMFS from India is not recognized in the UK as a postgraduate degree
  • As a dentist, one can get a temporary registration from General Dental Council (GDC) for the purpose of undertaking clinical work in a hospital as HO or SHO (house officer or senior house officer) in OMFS
  • Temporary registration is granted for 84-365 days at a time and may be renewed for up to 5 years for permit-free training
  • Dentists from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) whose qualifications are not recognized for full registration with the GDC may take the examination (ORE) before studying medicine
  • Dentist who clears Member of the Faculty of Dental Surgery (MFDS) can get some exemptions for certain parts of the medical course in medical college
  • Some of the universities in UK offer MSc (Clin) oral and maxillofacial surgery course which requires a primary dental qualification from a recognized institution and at least two years’ experience in general professional practice

France

  • OMFS entitled “stomatology and maxillofacial surgery” is a specialty founded on a medical degree only and separated from dentistry (odontology)
  • To obtain a degree in maxillofacial surgery and stomatology, a candidate should have completed 8 years of medical degree followed by 5 years of specialty training in OMFS. After completion of course, one should work in public hospitals or universities for 1-4 years

Spain

  • In Spain, the oral and maxillofacial surgeon does 5 years of specialty training after 6 years of medical studies
  • The qualification of specialist in OMFS (MD) in Spain is obtained through the medical intern and resident (MIR) examination and a training system

Germany

  • Degrees of India-trained dentist (BDS) or specialist (MDS) are not directly recognized in Germany
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgery is a different specialty from oral surgery. Since oral and maxillofacial surgery effectively combines two medical disciplines, specialists in oral and maxillofacial surgery must have a double license (Degree in dental + Degree in medicine) to practice in Germany, Austria and Switzerland
  • A foreign trained specialist has to clear equivalency exam (Approbation) to get a license to work in Germany
  • After receiving a permanent license, you can apply for specialty courses. Mainly two specialties are available for post graduation studies (i.e., Orthodontics and Oral surgery)
  • The Bundeszahnärztekammer is the professional representation of all dentists in Germany (Like DCI in India)
  • Rules and regulations vary from state to state. So, selection of state to work/study is important

Once you get your permanent license, you can apply for Post-graduation course in Oral surgery which is for 4 years (3 years +1 year of general dentistry rotation ship) or if you have acquired an additional dental specialization outside EEA and a qualification as a specialist dentist, you can apply for the recognition of the specialist title in Germany.

I hope the details help you.

Regards, Dr. Shilpy


I want to know if we could apply for residency in US or Australia in OMFS after doing MDS in India and clearing the respective license exams? Please do reply (July 16,2020)

US

Below are two ways of applying residency programs in Oral and maxillofacial surgery in the US

Pathway 1 (the standard path)

Indian dental degrees (BDS/MDS) are non-accredited in the US. So, Indian dental graduates must undergo training in a US dental school for 2-3 years. Dentists are required to pass the National Board Dental Examination (NBDE) (Part I & II) exams to get admission in US dental schools. After completion of 2-3 years, the dentist gets the DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or DMD (Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry) degree. Most states require a degree from a dental school accredited by American Dental Association before granting licensure.

Following completion of the DDS or DMD equivalent program, one can apply for a residency program in Oral and maxillofacial surgery. These programs take 4-6 years. The 6-year program includes additional 2 years of the MD (Doctor of Medicine) program from affiliated medical schools.

Pathway 2 (the shorter path):

An international dentist can directly join an accredited post-graduate program, also known as residency programs, and apply a license subsequently instead of attending dental school. This is applicable only in a few states, including Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, Mississippi, Oregon, Texas, Wisconsin, Massachusetts. US states have separate Dental Boards (e.g., Dental Board of California), which have different rules for granting licenses to foreign dentists. So, one may have to check the respective state dental board for their rules.

Australia

Under Australian government regulations, Overseas Trained Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (OTOMS) must undergo a specialist assessment process. Applicants are assessed on their surgical qualifications and clinical experience in order to determine comparability with a surgeon who has trained in Australia or New Zealand. The assessment process takes up to 3 months, and involves a document-based assessment and may include a face-to-face semi-structured panel interview.

If deemed eligible, dentists have up to 2 years to find a suitable position for supervised clinical assessment purposes, and 4 years to complete all requirements stipulated in their specialist recommendation. One the dentist has successfully completed all requirements of the assessment, the Board of Studies (OMS) awards the Fellowship (FRACDS (OMS)).

12 comments

  1. Dear doctor,
    The information is very apt and up to date. Could you please guide about those who don’t have a Canadian PR, can they give the complete equivalency process for general dentistry. And whether clearing the equivalency process has some points in obtaining PR in Canada.
    Regards

    1. Hi Amit,

      Thanks for your feedback.

      I would advise you to get a PR before writing the exams. The PR would be required for acquiring the provincial license, even if you’ve cleared the NDEB exam, and clearing the equivalency exam holds no value in case the PR application is rejected.

  2. Hey…thank you for the info…i wanted to know If
    we could apply for residency in US or Australia in OMFS after doing MDS In india and clearing the respective license exams? Please do reply

  3. Hey
    Thank you for the info…could u please tell me If I could apply for residency in Australia or US after MDS in OMFS in india?

  4. Hey, Thank you so much for your info.
    I wanted to know if I do my MDS in ortho in India
    Will have to repeat the speciality course in Canada, Australia or New Zealand

  5. Hello Sir / Madam ,
    I have a small query ,
    Is it possible to pursue MDS in omfs field, in Australia or UK after graduating BDS from India ??

    Thanks in advance .

    1. Hi Spandana,
      For both countries, you will need to get your BDS degree accredited, for which you need to clear the equivalency exams. After clearing equivalency, you will need to work as a general dentist for the specified period. Then you can apply for post-graduation courses. Please refer to the answer for the first two questions on this page for details of getting equivalency in Australia and the UK.

      You may also want to read about Dr. Neha’s experience of clearing the equivalency exams in Australia. https://dentistryinsider.com/stories/to-the-land-down-under/

  6. Hi
    I have done my BDS and have my own practice since 14 yearsin india. Clearing NDEB is a long process to settle in Canada as I am with the family so I want to know about other countries like Dubai and European countries like Germany. What is the scope of Dentistry here and settling in these countries?

    1. Hi Ajay,

      Let’s discuss the options one by one:
      – UAE: This is the easiest and least time consuming. You can start practicing within 1-2 months of clearing the qualifying exam, once you’ve found an employer. You can find an employer through online portals. If you want to read more, please see Dr. Satish Alavandar’s experience of working in Abu Dhabi here: https://dentistryinsider.com/stories/the-tipping-point/

      – Germany: Germany is a good option. However, fluency in the local language is a prerequisite in most European countries. For Germany, one has to obtain an advanced proficiency in the German language (B2 level). You can learn the language from Goethe-Institut, present in most large Indian cities. The time taken to clear all exams and get a permanent license is comparable to Canada. You can enjoy a good life in Germany, with free education for children up to their graduation.

      – You may also consider Australia. You can attempt the theory examinations from India, and also take classes for practical examinations in dedicated institutes. Clearing the exam will make you eligible for working in New Zealand as well, under the Trans Tasman mutual recognition. Australia also offers free medical care and education up to the 12th grade. You can read about Dr. Neha Ohri’s experience of clearing the equivalency exams here: https://dentistryinsider.com/stories/to-the-land-down-under/

      Apart from the UAE, migrating to most developed countries will take a minimum of 1.5 years. You may start by working in the UAE, and then migrate to other countries as suitable.

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