Standards, Guidelines and Advisories

The Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario’s Standards of Practice, Guidelines, Practice Advisories and Best Practices articulate the legal, professional and ethical obligations that apply to dentists practising in Ontario. These documents inform Ontario dentists and the public of our expectations for the profession.

Dentists are obligated to maintain the standard of practice of the profession and must adhere to the expectations we set out in the documents below. A dentist who fails to comply with a RCDSO document and/or the generally accepted standard of practice of the profession may be acting in a manner that could result in allegations of professional misconduct.

Ontario dentists must, at minimum:

  • Familiarize themselves with, and have a clear understanding of, Standards of Practice and other documents that are applicable to their practice
  • Maintain their skills and knowledge through continuing education and the review of evidence-based literature
  • Reach out to the Practice Advisory Service if they are unsure how to meet relevant requirements.

Standards Modernization

We are improving the way we develop and communicate expectations for Ontario dentists.

Beginning in 2023, we are making the following changes:

  • RCDSO’s expectations and guidance for the profession will be streamlined into two document types: 1) Standards (these articulate mandatory expectations for practice) and 2) Resources (these include recommendations, clarification, or companion documents such as FAQs)
  • Implementing process improvements for the review and development of Standards and Resources to ensure they are comprehensive, evidence-informed, transparent and inclusive. We will invite all interested parties to participate in Public Consultations for all new and revised Standards and Resources
  • Standards and Resources will be presented in a simplified, direct, and plain language format. 
Within new Standards and Resources:
  • We will use the terms ‘must’ and ‘required’ to articulate our mandatory expectations. Ontario dentists are obligated to comply with these expectations
  • Where we use the terms ‘advised’ or ‘recommended’, dentists can use reasonable discretion when applying these expectations to practice.

As we update existing documents, you will receive communications from the College and see them posted our website.

Standards of Practice


Practice Advisories

Best Practices