Around 2,000 denturists work across Canada. Most are self-employed and incomes vary by province. After-tax, earnings depend on experience, location and gender. According to the last census, around 60 percent of denturists worked at their occupation full-time, suggesting that many supplemented incomes with other sources.
Denturists specialize in dental prosthetics. They do everything related to dentures–from examining patient mouths to making and maintaining partial or full sets of false teeth. Some denturists also make anti-snoring oral insertions. Working alone or in tandem with other dental health professionals, denturists literally help put smiles back on patients’ faces.
According to 2006 census data, most of the Canada’s 1,910 denturists were self-employed. Around a quarter were employed in dentists’ offices while a smaller number work for denture manufacturing firms.
According to Labour Market Information–a government-run website for job seekers–2010 wages for denturists range between $12.50 and $32 an hour. Location is important and remoteness can translate into higher income. For example, a denturist working in the isolated areas of Nova Scotia earns $32 an hour. By contrast, the highest reported denturist income in the urban setting of Halifax–Nova Scotia’s capital–is $26.95 an hour.
A denturist in French-speaking Quebec is called a “denturologiste.” According to the last census, more than 40 percent of Canada’s denturists worked in this province. In 2009, the average annual income for denturists in Quebec was $56,588. A little over half of Quebec denturists reported their occupation as full-time and full-year. The average annual attrition rate of the 850 denturists working in Quebec is around 10 percent, according to a report by the government-run JobFutures.gc.ca website.
Denturists in Canada’s most populous province earned less than the national average, according to the last census. Five years ago, 1,910 denturists across Canada earned on average just over $50,000. In Ontario, 465 denturists earned on average $2,000 less. The number of denturists fell by nearly 20 percent between 2001 and 2005. A May 2010 job advertisement on the government-run JobBank.gc.ca website for a lab worker position at a denturist’s practice in Sarnia, Ontario quoted a $40,000 to $60,000 annual salary.
Provincial Regulators and Associations
In Canada, healthcare is regulated by the provinces and territories that have their own licensing bodies for denturists. In addition, each province and territory has its own professional association for denturists. They all come under the umbrella of the Denturist Association of Canada (DAC) based in British Columbia. That organization’s website provides links to all the provincial and territorial licensing bodies and professional association (see Resources).
Gender and Age Gaps
Although Canada is committed to equal opportunity employment, the difference between earnings of male and female denturists was significant. Census data from 2005 showed that men earned an average of $23,000 more than women working as denturists.
The job prospects for denturists have been rated from “fair” to “good” in various provinces. Openings are created by denturists taking retirement or changing occupations. In Quebec, for example, over 60 percent of the provinces denturists are between the ages of 45 and 65.
Education and Foreign Denturists
In Canada, denturists fall into the category of regulated occupations. Ten percent of denturists working in Quebec are immigrants. To work in Canada, foreign-trained denturists will have to undergo credential assessment and recognition by the provincial or territorial body where they would like to work.
There are four colleges in Toronto, Edmonton, Vancouver and Longueuil, Quebec offering denturist programs, however only three are accredited by the Denturist Association of Canada (DAC). The courses last from two to three years and require internships. Links to all the schools can be found on the DAC website.