If you are interested in working as a Dental Hygienist or Dental Therapist in Canada, you will be pleased to know that the job outlook for your occupation in Canada is extremely positive.

You can use this overview of the Canadian employment prospects in your field to start planning your immigration and settlement in Canada.

Why your employment prospects in Canada are excellent:

  • Dental hygienists are employed by private dental offices, hospitals, clinics, educational institutions and government agencies. Dental therapists are employed predominantly by the federal and provincial government to provide services in remote and rural locations where few dentists are available.
  • Due to rapid changes in diagnostic and treatment technology, professionals in these fields of work must continually upgrade their skills. Those who stay abreast of new technologies may have an advantage over others seeking employment in these fields

Some areas of Canada where your occupation is in demand:

While there is a shortage of Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists across Canada, the following cities and provinces listed below have a particularly high demand for this occupation.

British Columbia:

  • Employment prospects are good throughout the province.
  • Dental hygienists and dental therapists are employed predominantly in the Health care industry.
  • Employment is distributed fairly evenly across the province, in line with the general population distribution.
  • A growing and ageing population will require more dental services, which will result in new jobs for dental hygienists and therapists. Job opportunities will also become available due to retirements.
  • While there is high demand throughout the province, highest demand is in rural areas.


  • Employment prospects for dental hygienists and therapists are expected to be good in the period 2010 - 2014.
  • New legislation passed in 2008 which allowed the expansion of dental hygiene practices should increase the need for these professionals.
  • Dental hygienists who meet the qualifications can now provide services without a dentist's supervision in the community, including personal-care homes, community programs, or other settings approved by a patient's dentist.
  • A proportionally larger number of dental hygienists are to be found in Winnipeg.
  • Almost all are employed in the Health Care and Social Assistance sector (97%) and the remainder in Public Administration (2%).
  • Dental therapists have a different role than dental hygienists. They are employed exclusively by the government to be the primary dental care givers in many First Nations communities in Manitoba.


  • Employment prospects over the next five years are considered to be good.
  • The demand for dental services is influenced by population growth, and increasing attention to dental hygiene.

Newfoundland and Labrador:

  • Employment outlook is considered to be good throughout the Province for the next five years.
  • The on-going trends of a growing and aging population, more dental insurance coverage and new dental technologies will lead to increased employment opportunities in the future.
  • Increasing emphasis on preventative dental care will positively influence the demand for Dental Hygienists.
  • Those who enjoy working with children could have a competitive edge in finding employment.
  • In addition, qualifications to deliver local anesthetic may be an asset for employment in the future.
  • The Newfoundland and Labrador Dental Hygienists Association can provide assistance with identifying job opportunities in the province.

Nova Scotia:

  • Employment prospects are good throughout the province.
  • Expanded dental insurance coverage, an increased emphasis on and awareness of preventative dental maintenance has positively influence the demand for dental hygienists.

Duties for Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists

Dental hygienists provide dental hygiene treatment and information related to the prevention of diseases and disorders of the teeth and mouth. They are employed in dentists' offices, hospitals, clinics, educational institutions, government agencies and private industry. Dental therapists carry out limited dental services related to the prevention and treatment of diseases and disorders of the teeth and mouth. They are employed by the federal government and the provincial governments to provide services in rural and remote communities.

Description of Main Duties:

Dental hygienists perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Conduct an initial dental assessment and consult with dentists on patient care
  • Take dental impressions
  • Instruct patients regarding oral hygiene procedures
  • Clean and stimulate the gums to prevent gum disease
  • Remove stains and deposits from teeth to prevent tooth and root decay
  • Apply fluoride treatment
  • Take and develop X-rays
  • May perform restorative and orthodontic procedures under the direction of a dentist
  • May supervise dental assistants in their health care functions.

Dental therapists perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Conduct dental assessments and consult with dentist on patient care
  • Take dental impressions
  • Take and develop X-rays
  • Remove stains and deposits from teeth to prevent tooth and root decay
  • Apply fluoride treatment
  • Instruct patients regarding oral hygiene procedures
  • Supervise dental assistants in their health care functions
  • May drill and fill cavities, extract teeth and replace portions of tooth crown.

Example job titles for Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists:

  • community dental hygienist
  • dental hygiene technician
  • dental hygienist
  • dental hygienist – military
  • dental hygienist technician
  • dental nurse
  • dental therapist
  • dental therapist – military
  • expanded duty dental hygienist
  • expanded duty dental nurse
  • licensed dental therapist
  • orthodontic hygienist
  • periodontal hygienist
  • registered dental hygienist
  • registered dental therapist

You can start looking for a job in Canada by using our Canada Job Search Tool.

Find out about salary ranges for Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists in different Canadian cities with our Canada Salary Calculator.

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