Working & Volunteering Abroad

Working Abroad

There are many dental hygiene opportunities abroad; however, dental hygiene registration and Work Permit and/or Visa requirements differ substantially by country. You will need to contact government authority and regulatory body overseeing the dental hygiene profession. Visit the International Federation of Dental Hygienists for more information.

Some of the things to look for include:

  • Special-knowledge or certification requirements.
  • Whether the employer offers accommodation or other benefits.
  • Any split between salary and commission.
  • Whether the employment ad is directly from the employer or from a placement agency (a third party that would take a placement fee from the employer).

Visit CDHA’s Job Board for opportunities abroad.

Volunteering Abroad

There are volunteer opportunities for dental hygienists around the world, from South America to the Middle East to the South Pacific. One of the most important things to keep in mind when thinking about going on a volunteer trip is that you are likely working with very underserved groups. They are likely to experience difficult living conditions, and have complex oral health needs.

Getting in the right frame of mind is essential to making the most of your volunteer experience abroad. For many dental hygienists, the experience of meeting and helping underserved children will far outweigh the difficulties. One of the best ways to prepare for the conditions you will face is to read articles about other peoples' experiences in volunteering abroad.

If you're an Active CDHA member and have an opportunity to work/volunteer outside Canada, you need to take a few steps to make sure your professional liability coverage travels with you. The professional liability insurance coverage included in CDHA's policy only covers members who are practicing on Canadian soil, or when overseas (for a maximum of 90 days) if you are: accompanying patients on trips, attending academic courses or participating in professional exchange programs. Please contact CDHA with your known dates of travel, name of the dental clinic you will be working/volunteering at, as well as the name of the City and Country. The coverage will need to be approved by the insurer. Please allow for 5-7 business days for approval and processing. An additional charge will apply for this supplement coverage.

You can learn about dental hygienists’ experiences volunteering abroad by reading the Dental Hygiene at Home & Away articles in Oh Canada! CDHA's Oral Health Canada Magazine.