Licensing, Regulation, and International Movement of Oral Health Professionals (OHPs)

  • Madhan BalasubramanianEmail author
  • Nicolas Giraudeau
  • Heiko Spallek
  • Osvaldo Badenier
  • Rodrigo J. Mariño


Oral health practice is subject to specific laws and regulations. Clinicians need to be aware of a range of issues involving malpractice and complaints that impact on operations and the provision of health services to their patients. This chapter presents an overview of some of the licensing and regulatory practices for Oral Health Professionals (OHPs) around the world, including some specific examples from Australia and Chile, as case studies. The chapter also provides an overview of major areas of the law from a global perspective, with attention to oral health. The primary objective of these laws and regulations is the protection of the health and safety of the public. As the political and socio-demographic framework or conditions change, these guidelines, laws, and regulations should also evolve, but must continue to ensure high standards of safety in health service delivery.


Oral health professionals Licensing Regulation Oral Health 


  1. Alcota M, Ruiz de Gauna P, Gonzalez F (2016) La carrera de Odontología en el contexto actual de la Educación Superior Chilena; Dental programs in the current context of Chilean higher education. Int J Odontostomat 10(1):85–91. Scholar
  2. Al-Harthi LS, Cullinan MP, Leichter JW, Thomson WM (2013) Periodontitis among adult populations in the Arab world. Int Dent J 63:7–11. Scholar
  3. Ané C (2016) La formation privée pour devenir dentiste a été interdite. In: Accessed 28 Sep 2016
  4. Association of South East Asian Nations (2015) ASEAN economic community. Accessed 15 Jan 2015
  5. Australian Bureau of Statistics (2012) Census 2011 – regional population growth, Australia. Accessed 15 Feb 2015
  6. Australian Dental Association (2012a) ADA policy statement on overseas qualified dentists. 3.8 overseas qualified dentists.pdf
  7. Australian Dental Association (2012b) ADA call to action on dental workforce supply.
  8. Australian Dental Association (2015) ADA – about us – membership. Accessed 29 May 2014
  9. Australian Dental Council (2009) Australian Dental Council consultation paper on the proposed arrangement of specialists. COAG & Productivity Commission, CanberraGoogle Scholar
  10. Australian Dental Council (2010) Dentistry in Australia. Accessed 11 Nov 2015
  11. Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (2010) Dental Board of Australia.
  12. Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (2013) Dental Board of Australia – overseas dentists.
  13. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2010) Australia’s health 2010. Canberra, AIHWGoogle Scholar
  14. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2014) Dental workforce 2012. Canberra, AIHWGoogle Scholar
  15. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2013) Dental workforce 2011. Canberra, AIHWGoogle Scholar
  16. Australian Research Centre for Population Oral Health the U of A (2008) Dentist Labour Force projections 2005 to 2020: the impact of new regional dental schools. Aust Dent J 53:292–296. Scholar
  17. Balasubramanian M, Short SD (2011a) The commonwealth as a custodian of dental migratory ethics: views of senior oral health leaders from India and Australia. Int Dent J 61:281–286. Scholar
  18. Balasubramanian M, Short SD (2011b) Is the concept of ethics misplaced in the migration of Indian trained dentists to Australia? The need for better international co-operation in dentistry. Indian J Dent Res 22:866–868. Scholar
  19. Balasubramanian M, Teusner DN (2011) Dentists, specialists and allied dental practitioners: the Australian Dental Labour Force, 2006. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, CanberraGoogle Scholar
  20. Balasubramanian M, Brennan DS, Spencer AJ, Short SD (2015a) The “global interconnectedness” of dentist migration: a qualitative study of the life-stories of international dental graduates in Australia. Health Policy Plan 30:432–441. Scholar
  21. Balasubramanian M, Spencer A, Short S et al (2015b) Characteristics and practice profiles of migrant dentist groups in Australia: implications for dental workforce policy and planning. Int Dent J 65:146–155. Scholar
  22. Balasubramanian M, Brennan DS, Spencer AJ, Short S (2016) The international migration of dentists: directions for research and policy. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 44:301–312. Scholar
  23. Benzian HM, Beaglehole R, Crail J et al (2010) International migration of dentists: where from and where to? In: International Association for Dental Research Conference, International Association for Dental Research, BarcelonaGoogle Scholar
  24. Cartes-Velazquez R (2013) Exponential growth of dental schools in Chile: effects on academic, economic and workforce issues. Braz Oral Res 27:471. Scholar
  25. Chen L, Evans T, Anand S et al (2004) Human resources for health: overcoming the crisis. Lancet 364:1984–1990. Scholar
  26. Chrisopoulos S, Nguyen T (2012) Trends in the Australian Dental Labour Force, 2000 to 2009: Dental Labour Force collection, 2009. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, CanberraGoogle Scholar
  27. De Queiroz J (2014) A Toulon et Beziers l’université portugaise qui contourne le numerus clausus. In: Accessed 30 Nov 2017
  28. Dental Council of India (2012) Dental Council of India: colleges and institutions. Accessed 15 Jan 2015
  29. Doherty M, Blinkhorn A, Vane E (2010) Oral health in the Pacific Islands. Int Dent J 60:419–423. Scholar
  30. Duckett SJ (2006) Australia’s Health Workforce next steps in health workforce reform. Aust Econ Rev 39:318–323CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. European Union (2015a) European Commission: employment, social affairs and inclusion. Accessed 15 Jan 2015
  32. European Union (2015b) European Union single market: dentists. Accessed 15 Jan 2015
  33. FDI World Dental Federation (2009) Oral health atlas. Myriad Editions, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  34. Gulf Cooperative Council (2013) Qualifications meta-frameworks: a report supporting the development of Gulf Cooperation Council’s Gulf Qualifications Framework (GQF)Google Scholar
  35. Harford J, Spencer AJ (2004) Government subsidies for dental care in Australia. Aust NZ J Public Health 28:363–368. Scholar
  36. Hartmann E (2008) The role of qualifications in the global migration regime. GARNET working paper no. 39/08Google Scholar
  37. Hawthorne L (2012) Health workforce migration to Australia: policy trends and outcomes 2004–2010. Health Workforce AustraliaGoogle Scholar
  38. Kandelman D, Arpin S, Baez RJ et al (2012) Oral health care systems in developing and developed countries. Periodontol 60:98–109. Scholar
  39. Listl S, Galloway J, Mossey PA, Marcenes W (2015) Global economic impact of dental diseases. J Dent Res 94:1355–1361. Scholar
  40. Marcenes W, Kassebaum NJ, Bernabé E et al (2013) Global burden of oral conditions in 1990–2010: a systematic analysis. J Dent Res 92(7):592. Scholar
  41. Mariño R (1993) Legislación y Salud: un mecanismo de salud bucodental (legislation and health: a mechanism for oral health). Rev Fac Odontol U Valpo 1:124–126Google Scholar
  42. Mariño R, Ramos-Gomez F, Mandon D et al (2016) The future of pediatric education and curricula: a Chilean perspective. BMC Oral Health 17.
  43. MERCUSUR (2017) MERCOSUR – Reconocimento de Titulos. Accessed 11 Nov 2017
  44. National Advisory Council on Dental Health (2012) Report of the National Advisory Council on Dental Health. Australian Government, CanberraGoogle Scholar
  45. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (2007) Immigrant health workers in OECD countries in the broader context of highly skilled migration. International migration outlook: SOPEMI, 2007 edition. Accessed 11 Nov 2017
  46. Ortiga YY (2014) Social science & medicine professional problems: the burden of producing the “global” Filipino nurse. Soc Sci Med 115:64–71. Scholar
  47. Spencer AJ, Teusner DN, Carter KD, Brennan DS (2003) The Dental Labour Force in Australia: the position and policy directions. AIHW Dental Statistics and Research Unit, CanberraGoogle Scholar
  48. Superintendencia de salud (2017) Registro Nacional de Prestadores Individuales de Salud. Accessed 17 Nov 2017
  49. Watkins K, ADC (2011) International dental graduates and Australian Dental Council examination process. Presentation made on behalf of the Australian Dental Council, The University of AdelaideGoogle Scholar
  50. World Health Organization (2012) Shaping the future of health in the WHO eastern Mediterranean region: reinforcing the role of WHO. WHO, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  51. World Health Organization (2015) WHO global code of practice on the international recruitment of health personnel: national reporting instrumentGoogle Scholar
  52. World Health Organization (2017) Global Health Observatory Data Repository – Dental workforce aggregated collectionsGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Madhan Balasubramanian
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  • Nicolas Giraudeau
    • 5
  • Heiko Spallek
    • 6
  • Osvaldo Badenier
    • 7
  • Rodrigo J. Mariño
    • 8
  1. 1.Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of SydneySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.The University of Sydney School of DentistrySydneyAustralia
  3. 3.Western Sydney Local Health District, NSW HealthWestmeadAustralia
  4. 4.Kings College London Dental Institute, Kings College LondonLondonUK
  5. 5.Faculty of DentistryUniversity of MontpeillerMontpellierFrance
  6. 6.The University of Sydney School of DentistryThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia
  7. 7.Faculty of Dentistry, University of ValparaisoValparaisoChile
  8. 8.Melbourne Dental SchoolThe University of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia

Personalised recommendations