Perhaps you are wondering: “How to work as a foreign dentist in Spain?” Let us answer it for you! For qualified dentists, Spain offers great opportunities and a simple immigration process. This guide will explain how to get a work visa and have dental qualifications recognized by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science. After following the steps, you can start your dental career in Spain. Let’s start and help you immigrate to Spain as a dentist.

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Immigrate to Spain as a Dentist

How to Immigrate to Spain as a Dentist?

Now, let’s get to the question of “How to work as a dentist in Spain?” To immigrate to Spain as a dentist, you must go through several steps. Here’s a Complete guide for you:

Step 1. Recognition of Qualifications

The first step is to get your dental qualifications recognized in Spain. You must have a degree from a recognized university and additional certifications based on the country of your degree.

The recognition process involves:

  1. Submit your application to the Spanish Ministry of Education.
  2. To demonstrate your Spanish language skills, submit a DELE certificate equivalent to your dental degree, transcripts, and any additional certifications (such as specialty qualifications).
  3. Official Spanish translations are required for all paperwork. Obtain an apostille for these documents if you are from a country that is a signatory to the Hague Apostille Convention.
  4. The Ministry will check to see if your dental schooling meets their requirements.
  5. The Spain Dental License Exam is essential for dentists who have trained abroad and want to practice in Spain. This exam assesses candidates’ knowledge and skills to ensure they meet Spanish dentistry standards. The exam usually includes written and practical sections. The theoretical part tests dental knowledge, while the practical part tests clinical skills. Designed for dentists with foreign degrees, this exam validates their qualifications in Spain.
  6. Register with the local dental association, ‘Colegio Oficial de Odontólogos y Estomatólogos’ (Spanish dental council), after approval. This step is crucial for professional recognition in your intended practice area.
  7. Finally, get a Spanish dentistry license.

Step 2. Language Proficiency

To immigrate to Spain as a dentist, you need to know Spanish. CEFR Level B2 in Spanish is typically required to practice dentistry in Spain. The Diploma of Spanish as a Foreign Language (DELE) from Instituto Cervantes and the Service for the International Evaluation of the Spanish Language (SIELE) are the two most widely accepted exams for this purpose.

At the B2 level, a score of at least 60% on the DELE is typically required, while a score of between 600 and 700 on the SIELE indicates a similar proficiency level. Exams given by some Spanish educational institutions in dentistry may also be recognized.

Step 3. Work Permit and Visa

Work permits and visas are required for foreigners working legally in Spain if they do not come from an EU country. Obtaining a work permit and visa to work in Spain as a dentist involves several key steps:

  1. Getting a job offer from a Spanish company is the first step. Whether it’s a dental clinic, hospital, or anything related to dentistry. Visa applications are often heavily influenced by employers.
  2. A work permit must be applied for on your behalf by your employer. The Spanish Ministry of Labor has to approve your application. The application must show that a Spaniard or EU citizen couldn’t fill the job.
  3. Getting a work permit is the first step to getting a visa. Spanish consulates or embassies in your home country typically handle this process. You should include the following information in your application:
    1. Spain employment proof or job offer
    2. A passport that is valid
    3. Photo requirements
    4. The application form
    5. A background check and a health certificate may also be required.
  4. It can take months or weeks for approval. If your application is approved, you’ll get your visa.
  5. At the nearest police station or foreigner’s office, you can get a foreign identity card (TIE).
  6. Lastly, make sure you’re registered with Spanish social security. Paying taxes, contributing to social security, and getting healthcare requires this.

Step 4. Professional Registration

To immigrate to Spain as a dentist, you must register with the local dental association or Colegio oficial de odontólogos y estomatólogos (Spanish dental association). In Spain, getting registered as a dentist involves several steps:

  1. You need to find the “Official College of Dentists and Stomatologists” (Colegio Oficial de Odontólogos y Estomatólogos) in the region where you plan to practice. Every autonomous community in Spain has its dental association.
  2. It usually takes a few documents, like:
    1. Evidence of your recognized dental qualifications.
    2. Documents that prove your identity.
    3. A visa or work permit proving your legal right to work in Spain.
    4. Spanish proficiency proof.
    5. Anything else the association might require.
  3. Depending on your qualifications, especially if they’re from outside the EU, you might have to pass an exam to prove your proficiency.
  4. Usually, there’s a registration fee that you must pay.
  5. Upon approval, you’ll be officially registered in that particular region of Spain and can practice dentistry there.
  6. Keeping your registration up-to-date requires continuing education and adhering to the association’s ethical and professional standards.

Step 5. Setting up Practice (Optional)

Starting a dental practice in Spain requires registering with the Spanish tax authority, choosing a business structure, and obtaining licenses, such as a regional health authority healthcare license and a town hall local business license. Hygiene, safety, patient data protection, and facility regulations must be followed in healthcare.

You must also obtain professional liability insurance, follow Spanish labor laws for employees, and manage finances and taxes. Maintaining compliance with changing healthcare laws and regulations is crucial. Legal and financial advice is recommended to navigate the complexities. For your Spanish practice to succeed, location research and cultural adaptation to local healthcare practices and patient expectations are crucial.

Step 6. Legal and Tax Obligations

Dentists in Spain pay progressive income tax (IRPF) from 19% to 47%, depending on income. They must also charge VAT (IVA), usually 21%, though some healthcare services are exempt or have a lower rate. Social security contributions are required for self-employed people to receive healthcare and pensions. The amount depends on minimum and maximum contributions. Dental practices that are corporations pay corporate tax, not personal income tax. To comply with and optimize their tax obligations in Spain, dentists should seek specialized legal and financial advice due to tax laws’ complexity and variability.

Step 7. Continuing Education

Spanish dentists must complete CPD to keep their licenses and stay active. This involves earning CPD credits through workshops, seminars, and online courses. These dental association-accredited activities cover clinical skills and ethics. CPD is required for license renewal, professional growth, and industry updates. Professional networking is also available at CPD events. A successful Spanish dental practice must actively manage CPD.

Infographic How to Work and Immigrate to Spain as a Dentist

Are Dentists in Demand in Spain?

Yes, there is a severe shortage in the sector of dentistry in Spain in rural areas, where demand is disproportionately high. Foreign dentists in Spain are in significant demand for public and private dental care in this area because of the high concentration of residents and visitors.

Required Skills to Immigrate to Spain as a Dentist?

Strong clinical expertise, the ability to communicate clearly with patients and colleagues, a keen eye for detail, the ability to problem-solve intricate dental issues, and the cultural sensitivity to treat a wide range of patients are all necessities for completing an application to immigrate to Spain as a dentist.

How to Work and Immigrate to Spain as a Dentist

Dentist Jobs in Spain

You need a job to immigrate to Spain as a dentist. Dentists in Spain have a lot of job options. Here are some of the common dentist jobs in Spain:

  • General Dentist
  • Orthodontist
  • Endodontist
  • Periodontist
  • Pediatric Dentist
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon
  • Prosthodontist
  • Dental Hygienist
  • Dental Assistant
  • Dental Lab Technician
  • Public Health Dentist
  • Academic Dentist or Dental Educator
  • Cosmetic Dentist
  • Dental Researcher
  • Dental Practice Manager

How Much is the Salary of Dentists in Spain?

Location, years of experience, whether the dentist works in private or public practice, and areas of expertise are just some variables that affect a dentist’s salary in Spain.

  • Starting Salaries. They could potentially earn between €20,000 and €30,000 annually.
  • Experienced Dentists. Annual salaries can start at around €50,000 and go up to over €100,000.
  • Location Variance. Cities like Madrid and Barcelona often offer better pay than their more rural counterparts.
  • Public vs. Private Sector. Dentists in the public sector may be paid less than their private practice counterparts.
  • Part-Time Work. In Spain, many dentists, especially those just starting, work part-time jobs that cut into their income.

Immigrate to Spain as a Dentist: Let’s Recap

To practice dentistry in Spain, one must have completed advanced education and training in the field. You’ll need a visa, verification of your degree, and a passing score on the Spanish National Exam to achieve this. The ability to communicate effectively and fluency in Spanish are prerequisites. Finding a dental job in Spain can be difficult, but you can improve your chances by using resources like job boards, networking, and recruitment agencies. Dental careers in Spain are possible with the right qualifications and determination.


The time it takes to receive a work visa varies based on your place of origin and the type of visa you apply for. It could take several weeks to several months.

While working in some international clinics without speaking Spanish fluently is possible, most dental practices in Spain require a high level of proficiency in the language.

It’s possible, but they must get their credentials recognized and possibly pass the Spanish Dental License Exam.

The recognition of qualifications and language barriers can make it tough, especially for non-EU dentists.

Recruiting agencies, job boards, dental associations, and networking.

It depends on experience and location, generally between €20,000 and €35,000 a year.

Yes, especially in the country.

Definitely, as long as they’re recognized and comply with the law.

It’s cheaper to get dental services in Spain than in other European countries or the US.

Obtain your work and professional licenses, as well as recognition of your medical qualifications.

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