Do you want to immigrate to Portugal as a dentist? This article offers a thorough overview of how to handle the immigration procedure, meet the prerequisites, and pursue a rewarding dental career in Portugal. Portugal offers a variety of opportunities for dentists looking to expand their horizons, whether you are drawn to the nation by its rich history, breathtaking landscapes, or thriving healthcare system.

Understanding the immigration process is crucial before beginning your journey to immigrate to Portugal. Portugal has specific visa and residency programs for qualified professionals, including dentists, who wish to reside and work there.

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

How to Immigrate to Portugal as a Dentist?

To immigrate to Portugal as a dentist, here is a general outline of the steps you would typically follow:

Step 1. Verify Your Qualifications

Make sure Portugal will accept your dental credentials. Your home country’s reputable dental school or university should have awarded you your dental degree.

You should contact the Directorate-General for Higher Education (DGES) or the Portuguese Dental Association (Ordem dos Médicos Dentistas – OMD) to determine if your dental degree is accepted in Portugal. They will assess your educational background and decide whether or not you are qualified to practice dentistry in Portugal. Official transcripts, course syllabi, and other supporting documentation might be requested from you.

Step 2. Learn Portuguese

Develop your Portuguese language skills. It’s crucial to have good communication skills with both patients and coworkers. Consider enrolling in language programs or taking exams like the CELPE-Bras to demonstrate your language proficiency.

Step 3. Research Immigration Requirements

Make sure you are familiar with Portugal’s immigration rules and procedures. To learn more about the requirements for receiving a visa and settling in Portugal as a dentist, visit the SEF’s official website.

Step 4. Obtain a Visa

Depending on your nationality, you might need to apply for a visa to enter Portugal. Gather the necessary paperwork, including your dental degree, evidence of language proficiency, and a certificate stating that you have a clear criminal record, among other things, depending on the visa category for dentists. Apply for a visa at the Portuguese embassy or consulate in your country of residence.

Step 5. Professional Registration

Once in Portugal, you must register with the Ordem dos Médicos Dentistas (OMD), the country’s dental association. Prepare the required paperwork, which should include your dental license, your proof of language ability, your identification, and any other information that may be required. Send your application and the necessary fees to the OMD.

Step 6. Recognition of Qualifications

The OMD will assess your dental credentials to ensure they adhere to Portuguese standards. To judge your competence, they might need more paperwork or tests. If necessary, comply with any further conditions specified by the OMD.

Step 7. Secure Employment or Establish Practice

Look for employment opportunities in Portugal at dental offices, medical facilities, or private practices. As an alternative, you might decide to start your own dental office. You can explore potential opportunities through networking, online job boards, and professional organizations.

Step 8. Immigration and Residency

After arriving in Portugal, you might need to apply for a residence permit if your visa is short-term. Obtain a dentist residence permit by learning about the requirements and process. This might entail presenting employment documentation or proof that you have the resources to support yourself.

Step 9. Settle in Portugal

After obtaining professional registration and residency, you can begin working as a dentist in Portugal. Prepare for your new life by finding a place to live, getting health insurance, and getting acquainted with the customs and laws of the area.

Where Can Dentists Work in Portugal?

You will have various employment options if you want to immigrate to Portugal as a dentist. These include jobs in the government-run healthcare system, private dental offices, and educational institutions.

Public Healthcare System

Portugal offers dentists the chance to work in the public healthcare system. As a result, you can treat a wide range of patients, including those who might not have access to private dental care. Jobs in public healthcare frequently come with the advantages of a stable job and a consistent salary.

Private Dental Clinics

Another option for dentists in Portugal is private dental clinics. These practices frequently have higher earning potential and cater to patients looking for specialized dental care. Working in a private dental practice enables you to develop your clientele and establish a name for yourself in the neighborhood.

Teaching Positions

Dental educators can look into teaching positions in Portugal’s dental colleges and universities. These positions allow you to share your knowledge, advance the dental industry, and guide the next generation of dentists.

Medical Degrees to Immigrate to Portugal as a Dentist

You typically need an accredited dental degree to immigrate to Portugal as a dentist. The diploma must be on par with the dental degree granted in Portugal. Degrees from universities located in European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) member countries are generally recognized in Portugal because the country adheres to the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) framework.

The following specific medical degrees are needed to immigrate to Portugal as a dentist:

  • Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS). Many nations, including the United States, Canada, and some regions of Europe, grant this degree.
  • Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD). The DMD is a degree given in many nations but is most common in North America. It is similar to the DDS degree.
  • Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS). A degree that is frequently conferred in the UK and other Commonwealth nations.
  • Licentiate in Dental Surgery (LDS). A dental degree is granted in some Commonwealth nations, including India and some African countries.

Eligibility Conditions to Immigrate to Portugal a Dentist

You must fulfill certain requirements to become a dentist in Portugal. The following criteria are essential:

  • Recognized qualifications. Make sure Portugal will accept your dental credentials. This means that your dental degree must be earned from a university or dental school accredited in your country of residence.
  • Language skills. For dental professionals in Portugal, language proficiency is essential. You must prove that you passed a language proficiency test, such as the Portuguese Language Test for Immigration Purposes (PT-BR) or the Portuguese Language Proficiency Exam for Foreigners (CELPE-Bras), to prove your language proficiency.
  • Professional registration. Apply to join the Ordem dos Médicos Dentistas (OMD)—the Portuguese Dental Association. This organization oversees dentists in Portugal. The necessary paperwork must be submitted with your application, including your dental degree, evidence of language proficiency, identification documents, and any other requested paperwork.
  • Recognition of qualifications. The OMD will assess your dental credentials to see if they satisfy the prerequisites for practicing dentistry in Portugal. They might ask for more paperwork or an exam to evaluate your competence.
  • Language adaptation period. If the OMD accepts your qualifications but finds that your language abilities still need work, they might ask you to complete a language adaptation period. You will be required to participate in language study to improve your command of Portuguese during this time.
  • Continuing professional development. To maintain your professional competence as a licensed dentist in Portugal, you must engage in continuing professional development (CPD) activities. The OMD has specific guidelines for CPD, some of which may involve going to workshops, conferences, or classes.

Required Skills to Immigrate to Portugal as a Dentist

In Portugal, a variety of skills and competencies are expected of dentists. In Portugal, the following are some of the essential qualifications needed for dentists:

  • Clinical Knowledge. Dentists must be well-versed in various dental procedures, such as oral examinations, diagnostics, preventive care, restorative dentistry, endodontics, periodontics, oral surgery, and prosthodontics.
  • Communication skills. Effective communication is essential for dentists to build trust with patients, comprehend their concerns, and explain treatment options and procedures. Collaboration with coworkers and dental staff is made easier by effective communication.
  • Manual dexterity. Dentistry requires meticulous manual work inside the oral cavity. Excellent manual dexterity is a requirement for dentists to carry out procedures precisely and accurately.
  • Problem-solving abilities. Dentists must evaluate complicated dental conditions, identify issues, and create effective treatment strategies. Strong problem-solving abilities help dentists give patients efficient, individualized care.
  • Empathy and patient care. Dentists should be compassionate and empathic with their patients, understanding their dental phobia and fostering a relaxing environment. Building trust and ensuring patient satisfaction depends on the provider’s ability to address patients’ concerns and provide high-quality care.
  • Attention to detail. To ensure accurate diagnosis, treatment planning, and execution of dental procedures, dentistry requires careful attention to detail. Dentists must be meticulous and possess an acute eye for spotting dental problems.
  • Ethical and professional conduct. High ethical standards, patient confidentiality, and upholding one’s profession’s integrity are expected of dentists. To ensure the security and welfare of the patients, they should adhere to the rules and regulations set forth.

Continual education. Dentistry is a field that is constantly developing, so dentists should keep up with the newest innovations, methods, and studies. One must be committed to lifelong learning and professional development to give patients the best care possible.

How is the Job Market for Foreign Dentists in Portugal?

The job market for foreign dentists in Portugal varies by region and level of competition. It is crucial to be fluent in Portuguese, and the Portuguese Dental Association must recognize your credentials. It’s advantageous to network with other professionals and learn about demand in various industries (private practice vs. public). For job opportunities, staying current and networking with local professionals are advised.

How to Find a Job in Portugal as a Dentist?

To immigrate to Portugal as a dentist and get a dentist job in Portugal:

  • Examine the demand for and job market for dentists.
  • Update your resume and cover letter to emphasize your skills and experience.
  • Attend industry events and engage in networking with dental professionals.
  • Use websites and online job boards to look for dental job openings.
  • Speak with dental offices, hospitals, and other establishments directly.
  • Join Portugal’s dental associations for professionals.
  • For employment opportunities, think about dental recruitment agencies.
  • Investigate the clinic or institution before interviews to show that you are well-prepared.
  • Make sure you adhere to the requirements for professional registration and immigration.

What are the Benefits of Immigrating to Portugal as a Dentist?

The advantages of moving to Portugal as a dentist include:

  • A wealth of job opportunities.
  • A good work-life balance.
  • Competitive pay.
  • A top-notch healthcare system.
  • A rich cultural experience.
  • High quality of life.
  • Easy access to travel.
  • A multicultural environment.
  • Opportunities for language learning.

Highest Paying Dental Specialties in Portugal

In Portugal, some of the highest-paying dental specialties include:

  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Orthodontics
  • Prosthodontics
  • Endodontics
  • Periodontics

Language Proficiency to Immigrate to Portugal as a Dentist

To practice dentistry in Portugal, one must be fluent in Portuguese. Although there are English-speaking neighborhoods in bigger cities, Portuguese is the language that most people speak. A strong command of the language is necessary to communicate with patients and coworkers effectively.

You might need to pass a language exam, such as the Certificado Inicial de Português Lngua Estrangeira (CIPLE) or the Diploma Inicial de Português Lngua Estrangeira (DIPLE), to prove your language proficiency. Your Portuguese speaking, reading, writing, and listening abilities are evaluated on these tests.

Best Paying Cities for Dentists in Portugal

In Portugal, several cities offer good earning potential for dentists. Some of the best-paying cities for dentists in Portugal are:

  • Lisbon
  • Porto
  • Faro
  • Coimbra
  • Braga
  • Aveiro

How Much is the Salary of Dentists in Portugal in 2024?

In Portugal, a dentist typically makes around 6,500 EUR. The range of salaries is 2,990 to 10,300 euros.

  • Dentists with under two years of experience make about 3,390 EUR annually.
  • A dentist with two to five years of experience can expect to make 4,530 EUR.
  • A salary of 6,700 EUR is earned for five to ten years of experience.
  • A professional dentist with ten to fifteen years of experience earns an annual salary of 8,170 euros.
  • The anticipated salary is 8,900 EUR for those with fifteen to twenty years of experience.
  • Dentists with over twenty years of experience are paid 9,630 EUR.

Similar Jobs to Dentists in Portugal and Their Pay

Several jobs are comparable to dentistry available in Portugal. Here are a few examples and their typical salaries, but it’s important to keep in mind that wages can differ based on things like experience, location, and work environment:


Orthodontists specialize in aligning and repositioning malocclusions and other dental and facial irregularities. In Portugal, their average pay ranges from €50,000 to €100,000.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

Those who practice oral and maxillofacial surgery perform mouth, jaw, and face operations. They deal with facial trauma, impacted teeth, and oral pathologies. In Portugal, their average pay ranges from €70,000 to €120,000.

Oral Pathologist

Oral pathologists research conditions that affect the maxillofacial and oral regions. Oral cancers and disorders of the oral mucosa are among the conditions they diagnose and offer specialized treatment plans for. Portugal’s annual average pay ranges from €40,000 to €70,000.


Periodontists are experts in the detection, treatment, and prevention of gum diseases as well as the insertion of dental implants. Their annual salary ranges from €40,000 to €80,000 in Portugal.

Immigrate to Portugal as a Dentist: Let’s Recap

A rewarding professional career and a satisfying lifestyle are possible if you immigrate to Portugal as a dentist. You can start down the path to becoming a dentist in Portugal by being aware of the immigration procedure, fulfilling the requirements, and looking into job opportunities.


As long as equivalence is granted to one of the academic degrees mentioned in Article 7 of these Rules, under the terms of Article 10(2)(c) of the BOMD, holders of foreign dental degrees may register with OMD and practice dentistry in Portugal.

Dentists are not subject to any specific age restrictions when moving to Portugal. You can start a career at any age with the required skills and credentials.

The registration process duration can vary depending on the circumstances of each individual and how responsive the authorities are. To account for any unexpected delays, starting the process well in advance is advisable.

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