Bahamas Dental Council will no longer examine candidates

NASSAU, BAHAMAS –  Effective December 4, The Bahamas Dental Council will no longer examine dental candidates for registration and licensure.

The move comes after Bahamian dental students have alleged that the dental registration and licensure exams were structured in such a way that they were bound to fail.

“This is to advise that effective December 4, 2018, The Bahamas Dental Council will no longer examine dental candidates for registration and licensure,” outlined an email that was recently issued to dental students.

“All former candidates are urged to seek examination at one of the approved exam centres for testing: The University of the West Indies, Jamaica; any United States examining board or any Canadian examining board.

“Grateful if you would confirm receipt of this communication. Wishing you every success,” the email concluded.

Meanwhile, recent dental graduates have viewed the decision of The Bahamas Dental Council as just another expense, many expressing that they must now find funds to travel to sit the exam overseas, and they must also sit another two-year course.

Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands told Eyewitness News Online that the Council has taken this position, given the scurrilous allegations that were made about The Bahamas Dental Council.

Several dentists who spoke to Eyewitness News Online on the condition of anonymity alleged that the dental registration and licensure exam was somewhat biased and the process of determining whether or not a person passed the exam was subjective and did not reflect their skill level.

“The dental council is unfair and there is a lot of discrimination towards dentists that obtained a dental degree from the University of West Indies,”  a recent dental graduate alleged.  

Sands, however, refuted these claims.

“These allegations have increased in scope and quite frankly I think they have perhaps moved a little beyond the plate,” Sands said.

“This is an unfortunate development but when you begin to question the professionalism of a body that is empowered to determine who is a fit and proper individual, this is not an unexpected outcome.”

Sands said the Dental Council consists of leading dentists and it is their job to maintain a standard of care in the community.

Students, he said, should also seek to qualify themselves but should never lower the bar [when it comes to examinations and certifications].

What we had sought to do is provide a Bahamian examination, however, the allegation is that the exam is too hard.

“We make no apologies if you are not a fit and proper person to practice on people’s fathers, mothers, etc.,” Sands said.