A Brief History

A Denturist is defined as a ‘dental’ health care professional who provides denture care directly to the public. A Denturist is an independent, self-regulated professional who works with other oral healthcare providers, including Dentists, Dental Hygienists, Dental Technicians, Dental Assistants, and Oral Surgeons, as part of the Oral Healthcare Team to provide the best denture care and service to their patients. In Canada, Denturist services span a wide spectrum, encompassing oral examinations, medical and dental history reviews, impressions, denture design and fabrication, insertion, as well as repairs, relines, adjustments, and the supervision of auxiliary personnel. This collaborative and patient-centered approach ensures a comprehensive and well-rounded provision of denture care.

The historical evolution of Denturism in Canada traces its roots back to the early 1900s when it emerged as a specialized field distinct from traditional dentistry. Initially labelled as dental mechanics or denture therapists, Denturists underwent several nomenclature changes before adopting the title "Denturist" today (The DAC, 2020a). The trajectory of Denturism in Canada during the 1960s witnessed tensions with the dentist-dental laboratory alliance. Despite the initial conflict, these tensions led to foundational partnerships, marking a pivotal moment in the profession's development. Legislative changes in 1961 allowed dental mechanics to provide complete dentures directly to the public. Over the years, the scope of Denturists expanded to include services like dentures over implants, fostering even closer collaboration within the broader oral health team.

The educational journey of a Denturist spans a comprehensive two to three-year program, focusing on honing both clinical and laboratory skills essential for crafting removable oral prostheses. Aligned with the Canadian Denturist Baseline Competency Profile, the curriculum is diverse, covering subjects ranging from clinical prosthetics to radiographic interpretation (The DAC, 2020c). A notable The DAC-commissioned review in 2014 shed light on the expansive nature of Denturism education. It emphasized the need for a profound knowledge base in biomedical sciences, encompassing areas such as oral anatomy, physiology, microbiology, and more. This foundational knowledge serves as the bedrock for removable prosthodontic theory, laboratory work, and clinical courses.

General Requirements for Admission to School Programs

  • High School Graduation
  • An Associate Degree or a minimum of two (2) years at a University with a Science background would be an asset.

Other Assets

  • Good interpersonal communication skills
  • Manual dexterity
  • Imagination and creativity
  • Colleges of Denturism

Currently, there are five schools of Denturism in Canada. These institutions provide two or three-year programs of study in both clinical and laboratory aspects of the profession. Depending on the school and the duration of the program, students may be required to complete an additional year of internship under the supervision of a licensed Denturist. Importantly, all graduates must successfully complete provincial licensing examinations. These schools may undergo a rigorous accreditation process to ensure a consistent standard of education across Canada, further enhancing the competency and expertise of Denturists in the field.

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Edmonton, Alberta

George Brown College of Applied Arts, Toronto, Ontario

Collège Edouard-Montpetit

Oxford College

Georgian College


Program Content

Course content may vary slightly between schools; however, students may expect to study most if not all, of the following which are included in the Canadian Denturist Baseline Competency Profile.


 General Anatomy and Physiology
Orofacial Anatomy
Dental Histology and Embryology
Oral Pathology and Medicine
Psychology in Dentistry
Dental Psychology and the Aging Patient
Complete Denture Prosthodontics
Small Business Management
Pharmacology and Emergency Care
Dental Kinesiology
Removable Partial Dentures
Preventive Dentistry
General Histology
Partial Dentures
Radiographic Interpretation
Pre-Clinical Prosthetics
Clinical Prosthetics
Dentures over Implants
Dental Materials
Practice Management
Human Relations
Public Health, Legislation and Research