Are you an experienced dentist seeking to explore new possibilities and advance your career? Consider moving to Malaysia and becoming one of the best dentists in Malaysia, which has a thriving dental industry, a warm population, and many advantages for expatriate dental professionals. This blog will examine the steps involved so that you can immigrate to Malaysia as a dentist.

Keep reading because we will also talk about the demand for dentists in Malaysia, the dentist pathway in Malaysia, how much do dentists make in Malaysia, dentist jobs in Malaysia, and how to be a dentist in Malaysia.

Can a Foreign Dentist Work in Malaysia?

Yes, a foreigner can work in Malaysia as a dentist after obtaining registration with the Malaysian Dental Council (MDC), passing the Malaysian Dental Qualifying Examination (MDQE) if required, and securing a work permit.

How to Work and Immigrate to Malaysia as a Dentist in 2023

Can Indian Dentists Work in Malaysia?

Yes, Indian dentists in Malaysia are welcome after their qualifications are recognized by the MDC, potentially passing the MDQE, and acquiring the appropriate work visa and registration with the MDC.

How Can a Pakistani Dentist Work in Malaysia?

A Pakistani dentist can work in Malaysia by having their qualifications recognized by the MDC, passing the MDQE if necessary, obtaining a work visa, and securing a position in a Malaysian healthcare facility.

Are Dentists in Demand in Malaysia?

Let’s answer the question: “Are dentists in high demand in Malaysia?” Yes, dentists are in demand in Malaysia, especially in urban areas and private sectors, due to increasing awareness of oral health and the growth of healthcare services.

Medical Degrees to Immigrate to Malaysia as a Dentist

How can I work as a dentist in Malaysia? Firstly, you must have the dentist requirements in Malaysia. To immigrate to Malaysia as a dentist, you would begin by familiarizing yourself with the healthcare system in Malaysia, especially the dental care sector.

To practice as a dentist in Malaysia, you need:

  • Recognized degrees. Generally, dental degrees from the following regions are often recognized, but specific institutions within these regions need to be verified:
    • Local universities accredited by the MDC.
    • United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. Most dental degrees from these countries are recognized.
    • United States. Degrees from dental schools accredited by the American Dental Association (ADA).
    • India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Certain institutions are recognized, but this is subject to change, and specific verification is needed.
  • Your dental degree must be from an institution listed in the Second Schedule of the Dental Act 1971 or approved by the MDC.
  • If your qualifications are not directly recognized, you may need to pass the Malaysian Dental Qualifying Examination (MDQE) to practice in Malaysia.
  • Temporary Registration for Postgraduate Training or Teaching for dentists interested in postgraduate training or teaching in Malaysia without a recognized qualification.
  • After obtaining a recognized degree and completing any required examinations or internships, you can apply for full registration.
  • Dentists may be required to complete a compulsory service period in public service or an institution approved by the Ministry of Health.
  • After full registration, dentists must obtain an APC to practice each year.
  • Language proficiency. Proficiency in English and Malay is highly beneficial for practicing in Malaysia.
    • English Language Proficiency Requirements. Most professional bodies require a minimum overall IELTS score of 6.0 to 7.0. Also, A minimum TOEFL score of 80 to 100 on the TOEFL iBT is generally required. Some institutions may accept MUET (Malaysian University English Test), with a minimum score requirement usually set at Band 4 for courses in healthcare, including dentistry.
    • Malay Language Proficiency. The requirement for Malay language proficiency is less formalized in professional settings, especially for foreign professionals. Approved tests for Malay proficiency. There are no widely recognized standard tests for Malay language proficiency required for professional registration in healthcare.

How to Immigrate to Malaysia as a Dentist?

Immigrating to Malaysia as a dentist involves a series of steps. You would typically need to fulfill the requirements set by the Malaysian Dental Council (MDC):

  1. Evaluating Your Qualifications
  2. Obtaining Necessary Licensing
  3. Securing a Job Offer
  4. Applying for a Visa and Work Permit
  5. Preparing for the Move

Step 1. Evaluating Your Qualifications

To immigrate to Malaysia, you must check if your dental degree and qualifications are recognized in Malaysia.

  1. Initially, you need to assess whether your dental degree is from an institution listed in the Second Schedule of the Dental Act 1971 or recognized by the MDC.
  2. If your degree is potentially recognizable, you will need to submit a series of documents to the MDC for verification.
    1. A certified copy of your dental degree certificate
    2. A detailed transcript of your dental education
    3. Proof of identity (e.g., passport)
    4. A certificate of good standing from the dental council or regulatory body of the country where you have been practicing
    5. Proof of any postgraduate qualifications or continuous professional development (CPD)
  3. You will need to fill out an application form for evaluation, available on the MDC website. This form asks for personal details, educational background, and professional experience.
  4. Pay the fees. It generally ranges from RM 1000 to RM 1500 ($230 to USD 350 approximately).
  5. The MDC will review your qualifications to determine their equivalency to Malaysian standards. The process can range from 3 to 6 months.
  6. If your qualifications are recognized, you can proceed with the registration process. If not, you may need to undertake additional assessments or qualifications.

Additional Assessments or Qualifications

For those whose qualifications are not directly recognized, the MDC mandates additional assessments or qualifications, such as the Malaysian Dental Qualifying Examination (MDQE). This examination assesses your clinical skills and knowledge to ensure they meet Malaysian standards. To apply, you can go to the MDC website to see the application details, including examination dates and locations. The fee for the MDQE is approximately RM 3000 to RM 5000 ($700 to USD 1200).

Step 2. Obtaining Necessary Licensing

How can I get a dental license in Malaysia? You need to register with the Malaysian Dental Council. But how to register as a dentist in Malaysia? Here is a detailed breakdown of the dental practice license process:

  1. First, verify if your dental degree is recognized by the MDC by checking their official list of recognized qualifications.
  2. Complete the application form available on the MDC website. Ensure all sections are filled out accurately.
  3. Attach the following documents with your application:
    1. A certified true copy of your dental degree certificate
    2. Transcripts of your dental education
    3. A copy of your current professional practicing certificate/license from your country (if applicable)
    4. Proof of identity (passport or national ID)
    5. Recent passport-size photographs
    6. Curriculum Vitae detailing your dental education and work experience
    7. Proof of proficiency in English, such as IELTS or TOEFL scores, if your education was not in English
  4. If your qualifications are not recognized, you’ll be required to pass the Malaysian Dental License Exam (MDQE). Explained above.
  5. Pay the required fees. Typically, fees range from RM 100 to RM 500.
  6. Some applicants may be required to attend an interview with the MDC.
  7. The processing time can take from a few weeks to several months. Once your application is complete and has been reviewed, the MDC will issue a decision. If approved, you will be registered with the MDC and given a registration number.
  8. After registration, you must apply for an APC to legally practice dentistry in Malaysia. This requires demonstrating continuous professional development (CPD) activities.

Step 3. Securing a Job Offer

Look for employment opportunities in Malaysian dental clinics, hospitals, or educational institutions, alternatively, if you plan to open your own practice.

Job Searching Websites

  • JobStreet Malaysia
  • MyStarJob
  • Indeed Malaysia
  • Maukerja
  • CareerJet Malaysia
  • Jora Malaysia
  • Monster Malaysia

Recruitment Agencies

  • Randstad Malaysia
  • Michael Page Malaysia
  • Adecco Malaysia
  • Hays Malaysia
  • Kelly Services Malaysia
  • Manpower Malaysia
  • Robert Walters Malaysia

Step 4. Applying for a Visa and Work Permit

To immigrate to Malaysia as a dentist, you must apply for a professional work visa. Your employer will usually assist with this process. If you’re planning to open a practice, you’ll need to apply for an entrepreneur visa and comply with Malaysia’s business regulations.

Steps to Apply for a Malaysia Work Visa

  1. Your employer must be registered with the Expatriate Services Division (ESD) and submit an application for a Malaysian Employment Pass on your behalf. If you’re opening a practice, you would apply for an Entrepreneur Pass through the ESD.
  2. Prepare necessary documents, including passport, job offer letter, qualifications, CV, and any additional documents requested by the Immigration Department.
  3. Ensure you have recent passport-size photos.
  4. Undergo a health screening from a clinic approved by the Malaysian Ministry of Health.
  5. Depending on your nationality, a security bond might be required, which your employer can help arrange.
  6. Pay the application fee. The fee for an Employment Pass can range from RM 200 to RM 1,000 (approximately USD 47 to USD 235).
  7. The complete application is submitted to the Immigration Department of Malaysia through the ESD system. The process typically ranges from 2 to 6 weeks from the date of submission.
  8. Once approved, you will be issued a visa. The Employment Pass is usually valid for 6 months to 5 years. For some nationalities, a reference number will be given to applying for a visa with reference (VDR) at the Malaysian embassy or consulate in your home country.
  9. If you plan to bring family members with you, separate applications for Dependent Passes need to be submitted.
  10. Upon arrival, present your approval letter to immigration at the point of entry.
  11. You must visit the Immigration Department of Malaysia to have your Employment Pass endorsed in your passport.

Step 5. Preparing for the Move

When you immigrate to Malaysia as a dentist, the transition involves not only adapting to a new professional environment and to the Malaysian way of life. Here’s what you need to do:

Necessary Registrations Upon Arrival

  • Malaysian Dental Council (MDC) This is crucial for legally practicing dentistry in Malaysia. You need to submit your original dental degree certificates and other academic qualifications and provide evidence of your work experience. Next, complete any required examinations or assessments if your qualifications are from a non-recognized institution. Then, pay the registration fee, which varies depending on your qualification level and the type of registration.
  • Professional Indemnity Insurance. While not a registration, it’s advisable to secure professional indemnity insurance to protect against legal claims for negligence.
  • Annual Practicing Certificate (APC). After MDC registration, apply for an APC. This requires proof of CPD (Continuing Professional Development) points and a renewal fee.

Settling in Malaysia


Opening a bank account typically requires your passport, visa, employment contract, and sometimes a minimum deposit. Famous banks include:

  • Maybank
  • CIMB Bank
  • Public Bank Berhad
  • RHB Bank
  • HSBC Malaysia


Popular websites include:

  • PropertyGuru Malaysia
  • iProperty.com Malaysia
  • Mudah.my
  • StarProperty.my

Health Insurance

  • AIA Malaysia
  • Prudential Malaysia
  • Great Eastern Life Malaysia
  • AXA Affin Health Insurance

Cost of Living in Malaysia

The cost of living for dentists in Malaysia can vary widely depending on their lifestyle, location, and personal spending habits. A comfortable living in a city like Kuala Lumpur for a single person could range from RM 3,000 to RM 6,000 per month, excluding rent.

Continuing Education and Compliance

  • Keep abreast of MDC requirements for CPD to maintain your APC.
  • Attend local and international conferences, workshops, and seminars relevant to dentistry.

Integration and Adaptation

  • Learn the basics of Bahasa Malaysia to communicate effectively with patients and colleagues.
  • Understand and respect Malaysian customs, traditions, and holidays.
  • Engage with the local community and professional networks to build relationships and adapt to the Malaysian way of life.

Compliance with Malaysian Laws

  • Familiarize yourself with Malaysian laws related to healthcare, employment, and residency.
  • Ensure your practice complies with Malaysian healthcare regulations and standards.

Dentist Jobs in Malaysia

  • General dentist
  • Orthodontist
  • Periodontist
  • Pediatric dentist
  • Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon
  • Prosthodontist
  • Endodontist
  • Dental public health specialist
  • Dental lecturer
  • Dental researcher

Dental Jobs in Malaysia for Indian Dentists

  • General dentist in private clinics or hospitals
  • Specialist dentist positions (Orthodontics, Periodontics, etc.)
  • Academic roles in dental faculties
  • Research positions in dental sciences
  • Dental consultant roles in healthcare companies

Immigrate to Malaysia as a Dentist

How to Become a Dentist in Malaysia?

Becoming a dentist in Malaysia as a foreigner involves a multi-step process involving:

  1. Finding a Dentistry University in Malaysia
  2. Admission Process
  3. Getting a Malaysia Student Visa
  4. Studying Dentistry in Malaysia
  5. Internship

Step 1. Finding a Dentistry University in Malaysia

Malaysia has several reputable universities offering quality dental programs. Where can I study dentistry in Malaysia? To start, research and find institutions accredited by the Malaysian Dental Council (MDC) and recognized internationally. You can visit the universities’ official websites to gather information about their dental programs. Among them are:

  • University of Malaya (UM)
  • International Medical University (IMU)
  • Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)
  • Penang International Dental College (PIDC)

Dentistry Courses in Malaysia Government Universities

  • University of Malaya (UM)
  • Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)
  • Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)
  • Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)

Cheapest Dentistry Courses in Malaysia

Government universities typically offer more affordable tuition fees compared to private institutions. Among them:

  • Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)
  • Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)
  • University of Malaya (UM)

Step 2. Admission Process

Each university has its admission criteria, usually including high school qualifications in science subjects, English proficiency tests (IELTS or TOEFL), and sometimes entrance exams or interviews.

To get admission, apply through the university’s official website. You’ll need to fill out an application form and submit necessary documents (academic transcripts, English proficiency test results, personal statement, recommendation letters). If your application is successful, you’ll receive an offer letter. You may need to pay a deposit to confirm your acceptance.

Step 3. Getting a Malaysia Student Visa

  1. Firstly, apply to a Malaysian educational institution. Once accepted, you will receive an offer letter.
  2. Your university will typically submit a Malaysian student pass application on your behalf through the Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS) website, which is the one-stop center for international student services in Malaysia.
  3. To facilitate this application, you’ll need to provide several documents, which usually include:
    1. A valid passport. At least 18 months of validation is needed.
    2. Your official letter of acceptance
    3. Academic transcripts and certificates to show our previous studies
    4. Proof of English proficiency. Non-native English speakers must have IELTS (a minimum score of 6.0) or TOEFL (a minimum score of 550 for paper-based, 213 for computer-based, or 80 for internet-based) scores.
    5. Bank statements or a letter of sponsorship to prove you can cover your tuition fees and living expenses in Malaysia.
    6. You might need to undergo a medical examination either in your home country or within 7 days of entering Malaysia.
    7. Passport-size photos, adhering to EMGS guidelines
  4. Once the EMGS approves your application, the Malaysian Immigration Department will issue a Visa Approval Letter (VAL), which your institution will forward to you. This process takes between 4 to 6 weeks. The total fee is approximately RM 1,000 ($235 USD).
  5. Some students may need to apply for a single entry visa to enter Malaysia using the VAL. This is applicable to students from countries that require a visa to enter Malaysia.
  6. Notify your university of your intended arrival date, allowing them to make arrangements for your welcome and registration with the Immigration Department upon arrival.
  7. Upon arrival in Malaysia, you will undergo clearance by the Immigration Department at the airport. Present your VAL and other relevant documents. If not done in your home country, you’ll undergo a medical screening in Malaysia within 7 days of arrival.
  8. After arriving, your educational institution will assist you in getting the student pass sticker on your passport, formalizing your student status in Malaysia.

Step 4. Studying Dentistry in Malaysia

Study dentistry in Malaysia. The curriculum covers topics including Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry, Restorative Dentistry, Oral Surgery, Orthodontics, Pediatric Dentistry, Periodontology, and Dental Public Health. Tuition fees for international students vary between universities, but expect to pay around RM 40,000 to RM 80,000 per year.

How many years is dentistry in Malaysia? Dental programs in Malaysia typically last five years, combining theoretical knowledge with practical skills. In the final years, students gain hands-on experience through clinical training.

Master in Dentistry

After obtaining a Bachelor’s degree, you can pursue a Master’s in Dentistry, specializing in areas like Oral Surgery, Orthodontics, or Periodontology. These programs provide deeper knowledge and more advanced clinical skills. Duration is typically 2 to 4 years, and tuition fees can range from RM 20,000 to RM 50,000 per year, depending on the university and specialization.

Step 5. Internship

An internship is a crucial step to applying theoretical knowledge in real-world scenarios. In Malaysia, dental graduates must complete a compulsory government service, serving as dental officers in public clinics or hospitals for a minimum of three years. This experience is invaluable, offering insights into Malaysia’s healthcare system and enhancing clinical skills.

Compulsory Service for Dentists in Malaysia

In Malaysia, dental graduates are required to undergo a compulsory service period, typically for three years, serving in public healthcare facilities. The compulsory service involves working under the Ministry of Health, Malaysia, in various capacities to provide dental care and services to the community. To undergo this service, you can go to these places:

  • Government hospitals
  • Community health clinics (Klinik Kesihatan)
  • Rural clinics (Klinik Desa)

How Much Does Dental School Cost in Malaysia?

Tuition fees for dental schools in Malaysia vary: public universities charge about RM 40,000 to RM 50,000 per year. In contrast, private universities may charge up to RM 80,000 to RM 120,000 per year for international students.

How Much is a Dentist Paid in Malaysia?

A dentist’s salary in Malaysia can vary widely depending on various factors. Here’s an overview:

  • General Dentist Salary in Malaysia. A general dentist in Malaysia typically earns, on average, between RM 4,000 and RM 15,000 per month.
  • Government Dentist Salary in Malaysia. For dentists employed by the government, the starting salary can range from RM 2,947 to RM 5,000 per month.
  • Fresh Graduate Dentist Salary in Malaysia. Fresh dental graduates in Malaysia, particularly during their housemanship, might earn a basic salary starting from RM 2,947 per month, with additional allowances bringing the total to approximately RM 4,000 to RM 6,000 per month.
  • Dentist Salary in Malaysia Per Month. On average, a dentist in private practice can expect to earn from RM 6,000 to RM 15,000 per month.
  • Dentist Housemanship Malaysia Salary. During their horsemanship, dentists are considered government employees and typically earn a basic monthly salary starting from RM 2,947, with total earnings, including allowances reaching up to RM 4,000 to RM 6,000.

Can I Practice Dentistry in Malaysia if English is not my First Language?

Yes, being fluent in English is necessary to practice dentistry in Malaysia. To move to Malaysia as a dentist, the ability to communicate with patients and healthcare professionals is crucial.

Is Dentistry a Good Career in Malaysia?

Yes, dentistry is a rewarding career in Malaysia, offering stable job prospects, respectable earnings, and the satisfaction of improving patients’ lives. With growing awareness of dental care, there’s a steady demand for dental professionals.

Immigrate to Malaysia as a Dentist: Let’s Recap

Moving to Malaysia as a dentist opens up a world of opportunities. Malaysia provides an outstanding environment for dentists to advance in their careers thanks to its thriving dental sector, friendly atmosphere, and alluring lifestyle.

If you have any questions about immigrating to Malaysia as a dentist, write in the comment section. You can also use Visa Library’s free consultation service.


Can I establish my dental practice in Malaysia?

In Malaysia, dentists can choose to open their own dental offices. However, becoming familiar with the statutory and regulatory prerequisites for establishing a private practice is critical.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Dentist in Malaysia?

It takes approximately 5 years to complete a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) program in Malaysia.

How Do I Become a Registered Dentist in Malaysia?

Obtain a recognized dental degree, pass the MDQE if required, and register with the Malaysian Dental Council (MDC) to practice.

How to Immigrate to Malaysia as a Dentist from the USA?

American dentists can immigrate by getting their degree recognized by the MDC, passing the MDQE if necessary, securing a job offer, and obtaining a work visa.

How to Immigrate to Malaysia as a Dentist from India?

Indian dentists need to have their qualifications recognized by the MDC, possibly pass the MDQE, secure employment, and obtain the necessary work visa.

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  1. Athulya says:

    I am a bds graduate from india and my husband is working here in malaysia, can I work here as a dentist or lecturer in dental colleges

    • Max says:

      Yes, you can practice dentistry or teach at dental schools in Malaysia after earning your Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree in India. However, in order to work as a dentist in Malaysia, you must meet the standards established by the Malaysian Dental Council, which include passing all relevant exams and acquiring the appropriate work permits. Furthermore, each dental college has its own set of requirements for faculty members, including the education and work experience they seek. You should still fulfill the professional and regulatory requirements for your specific field, even though being the spouse of someone working in Malaysia may make your visa and work permit application process easier.