Dental Tuition Fees Symptomatic of University Under-funding

September, 1 2005 — Ottawa — Figures released by Statistics Canada today show that tuition fees in dentistry remain the highest of all professional programs and continue to rise at higher rates than other programs. The Canadian Dental Association believes that chronic under-funding of Canadian universities is to blame, leaving university leadership with no choice but to hike tuition fees to cover costs.

"We want to make sure that if a student has the aptitude and attitude to succeed as a dentist, tuition sticker-shock doesn't keep them out of the profession", stated CDA President, Dr. Jack Cottrell. "This has been a concern in dentistry for several years — but it's not a problem that we can solve on our own. We're calling on governments to prevent a situation where only the elite members of our society can afford to pursue a professional career like dentistry."

Since 2000/1, fees in dentistry have risen by more than 50%. The high costs of dental programs reflect the costs to universities of maintaining dental clinic infrastructure — unlike medical programs that are able to make use of hospital clinic settings. Further — university dental clinics provide a valuable community service by offering lower cost treatments to individuals who might not otherwise have access to dental care.

The Canadian Dental Association is the national voice for dentistry, dedicated to the advancement and leadership of a unified profession and to the promotion of optimal oral health, an essential component of general health.

Dr. Cottrell is available for comment. To arrange an interview, please contact: