Becoming a dentist in the Canadian Forces

26 June 2020

Juliusz Bobiarski, DDS '20

I joined the Canadian military in the second year. I thought it was a really cool and interesting way of getting to the profession. It's almost like a residency as soon as I graduate!

I'll have my own operatory in one of the base dental clinics (wherever I'm posted) and work from there. The larger clinics have specialists on-site, so if there's a case I'm not comfortable with, I can knock on their doors for advice. They'll be able to help me out and talk me through it. I can work to do the best job that I can and provide the highest-quality dentistry. I think this is incredible.

There are tons of perks of working with the military, but one I didn't think I'd appreciate as much as I do now is guaranteed employment. It's a stable salary with a pension.

World travelling

All the major bases have dental clinics, so they put you where they need you. Generally, you're posted within Canada, but depending on how long you stay with the military, and how much experience you gain, you could be posted anywhere. Eventually I hope to be posted outside Canada because I love to travel.

There are two permanent postings, one in Germany and one in Belgium. Otherwise, you get several month-long postings on a ship, or with a larger NATO operation.

Our job is ensuring the other military members are operational. They have to pass a dental exam before they can be posted anywhere. The risk is quite low that I'll see any actual warfare. I could be posted to a war zone, but dentists are not usually posted there unless there's a larger base settled by NATO.

Growing up with dentists

My mother and grandmother are dentists. Growing up in Poland, my mom had her office attached to the house. I would go in sometimes and saw all the materials and lights and smells. I wasn't a fan!

They never really pushed me towards dentistry. Even in high school, I wasn't planning on doing it. I thought I'd probably end up in medicine or engineering. I guess I came around!

Growing up in Poland, dentistry was different, more competitive. There isn't as much opportunity as here. But things are definitely changing and the development they've seen over the last decade or so blows me away when I go to visit. I can see the change every time I go. It holds a special place in my heart. 


I will have to complete my basic training (the boot camp-style physical training), and then I'll get posted somewhere (probably in Canada since new grads usually aren't posted elsewhere). I'm looking forward to it! We learn quite a few skills you wouldn't otherwise.

And because you work only in the daytime, a lot of military dentists still practice privately, some evenings or weekends. We'll see!

Most excited

I'm most looking forward to getting back to dentistry. And again, I'm looking forward to finding out about the environment I'll be working in where I'm not constrained by finances or what the patient can afford, or my what my own skills are, and picking the brains of specialists and having that support network right there with me.