Department of Oral and Maxillofacial diseases
The Department conducts and develops research in the field, as well as related basic education, postgraduate research education, specialist education in dentistry and continuing education for dentists.

The degree title to be awarded is the Licentiate of Dentistry (LicDent). The overall scope of the Licentiate of Medicine degree is 360 credits, with 330 credits as the minimum scope for the Licentiate of Dentistry degree.

Studies in dentistry are divided into two stages: preclinical (the first and second year of studies, partly identical with the studies completed by students of medicine) and clinical (beginning from the third year of studies). The clinical stage is mostly comprised of theoretical studies organised by various disciplines in dentistry, related skills lab assignments and demonstrations, as well as patient work (clinical training).


  • Orthodontics
  • Cariology and endodontics
  • Paediatric dental care
  • Periodontology
  • Prosthetics and occlusal physiology
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgery
  • Oral microbiology
  • Oral health care
  • Oral pathology
  • Oral radiology

Specialising dentists train as tenured specialising dentists in the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa, primarily at the Surgical Hospital of the Helsinki University Central Hospital. Specialisation programmes in dentistry include the following: oral and maxillofacial surgery (six years), clinical dental care (three years) and orthodontics (three years), and health care (three years).

Com­pet­ency ex­am­in­a­tions

In Finland, the right to practise dentistry as a licensed professional is granted by Valvira, the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health. In order to be granted a licence, the applicant’s professional competence must correspond with the qualifications given by a dentist’s degree completed in Finland. For verification, Valvira may require that applicants complete a competency examination with a passing grade.

The examination is organised by dental training units at Finnish universities. The examination consists of four parts. At the University of Helsinki, the examinations on theoretical knowledge (May), practical skills (November), administration (in spring) and radiation safety legislation (in spring) are all arranged once a year.

Ex­am­in­a­tion on the­or­et­ical know­ledge

Examination on theoretical knowledge will be held on the 18th of April 2023. Registration is completed by filling out a billing request form and submitting it by email to at the latest on the 19th of March 2023.

The examination on theoretical knowledge contains ten categories: cariology, endodontics, prosthetics and occlusal physiology, periodontology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, oral health care, paediatric dental care, orthodontics, oral radiology, and oral pathology.

The academic affairs office of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases will announce examination results by email no later than a month after the examination event. Results from passed examinations of theoretical knowledge are valid for five years.

Prac­tical ex­am­in­a­tion

The one-part practical examination (covering all knowhow in five disciplines required by dentists in clinical work) will be held on the 2nd and the 4th of November 2022. The examination will be held on two different days.

The practical examination is available to those who have completed all theoretical knowledge examinations with a passing grade. The schedule for the practical examination depends on the number of participants. In any event, it will take more than one day. The examination also includes an oral part.

The practical clinical examination constitutes a unified whole that must be completed as such. If deficiencies in the candidate’s skills in terms of a specific discipline are observed, an opportunity for a single retake examination will be granted (the fee for retaking the examination is €250). If deficiencies are observed in terms of two or more disciplines, the entire practical clinical examination must be completed again.

Registration is completed by filling out a billing request form and submitting it by email to at the latest on the 2nd of October 2022.

Ex­am­in­a­tions on ad­min­is­tra­tion and ra­di­ation safety le­gis­la­tion

After completing all the categories of the examination on theoretical knowledge and the practical examination with passing grades, applicants may take the examination on administration. The examination on radiation safety legislation will be arranged in connection with the administrative examination. The next examinations on administration and radiation safety legislation will be held on the 11th of March 2022Registration is completed by filling out a billing request form and submitting it by email to at the latest on the 11th of February 2022.

After completing the qualification examinations, dentists must work with a limited licence to practise the profession for at least one year. Applicants must independently look for a job where they can work with such a licence.

Working with a limited licence means that the applicant works as a dentist under the direction and supervision of another licensed dentist at a specific healthcare unit. The National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health Valvira can grant a licence for up to six months at a time. When granting an extension licence, the employer’s statement on the concluded licence period will be taken into consideration. Working with a licence is possible at healthcare units maintained by both the public and private sectors. 

After working with a licence for one year, dentists can be granted the right to practise dentistry independently in Finland. Applications for the right must include a statement by the employer on the work completed with the licence. Valvira can grant the applicant the right to practise dentistry independently if the employer's statement supports it. In other cases, Valvira requires the completion of additional work with a licence or traineeships. Limited licences can be granted for no more than two years. Further information:


Preparatory training for the competence examinations required of dentists who have completed a degree in dentistry outside the EU/EEA begins at the University of Turku and the University of Eastern Finland in August 2022. The application period is in May 2022. Further information (in Finnish only):

Prac­tical in­struc­tions

  • In addition to writing instruments, no other accessories are required for the examinations. Answer sheets will be provided at the examination event.
  • Only a general dictionary of Finnish and a foreign language will be accepted. No thesauruses or other books that explain the meaning of words will be accepted.
  • Participants must arrive no later than 30 minutes after the examination has started. At the earliest, participants may leave 30 minutes after the examination has started.
  • Finnish and Swedish are the languages of examination. Questions will be provided only in one language. Those who wish to have questions in Swedish must notify the academic affairs office of the Department no later than two weeks before the examination. Finnish-language questions need not be requested.


Reg­u­la­tions on ex­am­in­a­tions

Examinations observe the University of Helsinki regulations on examinations, in so far as they are not in contradiction with those rules and instructions given by Valvira regarding these particular examinations.

Regulations on Degrees and the Protection of Students’ Rights at the University of Helsinki
Any person found guilty of cheating will receive a failing grade on the entire examination, with no fees reimbursed. A separate decision will be made on other potential consequences, such as restrictions to completing the next available examination.

Ex­am­in­a­tion loc­a­tion

Examinations will be held at the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases at the University of Helsinki (address Haartmaninkatu 1). Participants should arrive at the main lobby of the building 15 minutes before the examination starts.  


Fur­ther infor­mation

Questions related to examination arrangements should be directed by email at


Examination fees are set in accordance with the Ministry of Education Decree on Fees Charged for University Services (17.12.2009/1082).

  • Examination on theoretical knowledge
    • 10 examinations, €75 euros per examination. €750 in total.
  • Practical examination
    • Including all material costs (€500). €1,150 in total.
  • Administrative examination
    • €200 in total.
  • Radiation safety legislation examination
    • €100 in total.

Pay­ment in­struc­tions

Examination fees will be invoiced based on the billing request form completed at the time of registration. When registering for examinations, participants must include the name, personal or business ID, street address, post code and city of the bill recipient. If the recipient is not the person taking the examination, the participant must submit a statement of commitment signed by the recipient.

Examination fees must be paid before completing each examination stage. A receipt of payment must be presented at the examination event. The payment acts as a binding examination registration. Payments will be reimbursed only on the basis of a doctor’s certificate or other written proof provided by an official party. If the payment is processed abroad, please use the bank’s SWIFT code.


Dentists trained outside the EU/EEA must obtain professional practice rights from the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health Valvira to practise their profession in Finland (*). The training focuses on this qualification process, and does not lead to a degree. The preparatory training is organised at the University of Eastern Finland and the University of Turku. The University of Helsinki organises the application procedure.

Description of the preparatory training for competence examinations: 

Start date: August 2023

Location: Kuopio (University of Eastern Finland) and Turku (University of Turku) (links in Finnish only)
Language of instruction: Finnish
Schedule: Daytime classes (Mon–Fri 8.00–16.00)
Method: Contact teaching, remote teaching
Form of study: Supervised learning, independent study
Planned duration: 10 months (08/2023–05/2024)
Fee: None

Course content:

The training provides the basic skills required of dentists in Finnish society. The training is implemented according to a set schedule, as teaching is integrated into the timetable of undergraduate students. The training includes lectures, seminars and assignments. Read more about the learning outcomes (in Finnish only).

A strong commitment to the training, which requires attendance (excluding agreed holidays), is expected from those admitted. The start date of the training cannot be postponed. Finding accommodation in the training location is recommended.

Applying for the training:
Prerequisites for applying for the training:
  • A fixed-term or permanent residence permit at the beginning of the training
  • A degree in dentistry completed outside the EU/EEA approved by Valvira
  • A Finnish national certificate of language proficiency completed at least on YKI level 3 (level B1 in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) in all areas or a public administration language examination completed at least satisfactorily in all areas
  • A dental traineeship of at least three months at a public healthcare unit (*)
  • At least one theory examination component successfully completed. Only examination components successfully completed by the application deadline are taken into account.
Application period 

The application period for the training is open from 1 to 31 March 2023. Applying takes place via an electronic form.


Application forms returned by the deadline will be assessed and scored. On the basis of this pre-screening, the 20 applicants with the highest score will be invited to an entrance examination.

In the pre-screening, applicants can receive a maximum of 25 points as follows:

  • 1 point per successfully completed theory examination section, up to 10 points
  • 2 points per successfully completed practical examination section, up to 10 points
  • Motivation letter, up to 5 points

If enough applicants in the pre-screening receive the same score to exceed the quota for those invited to the entrance examination, the following criteria will be applied, in the order given, to break the tie:

  1. Points for completed theory examination sections
  2. Points for completed practical examination sections
  3. Points for the motivation letter

Applicants will be notified of the results by email. At this time, applicants admitted to the entrance examination will also be sent information on arrival at the examination.

Entrance examination 

The entrance examination will be held on 15 and 16 May 2023 from 8.00 to 16.00 at the University of Helsinki. Applicants’ identities will be verified at the entrance examination.

The entrance examination includes a written language test and an interview. The written language test will be held on 15 May 2023 at the Haartman Institute (Haartmaninkatu 3, hall 1), while the interviews will be held on 15 and 16 May 2023 at the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases (Haartmaninkatu 1A).

In the entrance examination, applicants can receive a maximum of 36 points as follows:

  • Written language test, up to 15 points
  • Interview, up to 21 points, of which the maximum score for the content is 14 points and for the language assessment 7 points

If enough applicants receive the same score to exceed the quota for admissions, the following criteria will be applied in given order to break the tie:

  1. Points for the interview content
  2. Points for the written language test
  3. Points for the interview language assessment
  4. Points in the pre-screening according to the pre-screening tie-break criteria
Admissions results 

The eight most successful applicants in the entrance examination will be admitted to the preparatory training for competence examinations, four to the University of Turku and four to the University of Eastern Finland. Two further applicants will be admitted to a waiting list for each university.

The results will be announced to the applicants via email by 31 May 2023.

Accepting a student place

Applicants must accept a place offered in the preparatory training within 14 days of receiving the results.

The original versions of the documents requested on the application form will be verified.

Applications submitted by persons guilty of cheating will be rejected in their entirety.

Administrative review procedure

Applicants dissatisfied with the admissions results can request in writing an administrative review from the entrance examination working group for the preparatory training. Requests for administrative review pertaining to the pre-screening stage must be submitted in writing within 14 days of the publication of the pre-screening results, while requests for administrative review pertaining to the admissions decision must be submitted within 14 days of receiving the decision. The request must specify the sections in which the applicant is requesting review:

  • Requests pertaining to pre-screening must clearly indicate the alleged error in the pre-screening.
  • Requests pertaining to the admissions decision must clearly indicate the alleged error in the assessment of the written entrance examination and/or interview.

Unspecific requests for administrative review will not be processed, and any new attachments enclosed with the request will not be taken into consideration. Requests for administrative review must be sent by email to


The training is funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture (Talent Boost programme) and free of charge to the students. Participants are responsible for their travel and accommodation expenses related to the entrance examination.

In exceptional circumstances (e.g., due to the coronavirus pandemic), the start date of the training can be postponed, the training can be cancelled in its entirety, or its implementation can be changed in accordance with the guidelines of the Kuopio Campus of the University of Eastern Finland and the University of Turku.

Further information on the Valvira website


More information:



The wide-ranging and diverse research activities of the Department include both clinical and basic research. One of their most important objectives is the promotion of clinical research with the methods of molecular biology and biotechnology. The Department houses well-equipped laboratory facilities in the Biomedicum Helsinki building, whereas clinical research is primarily centred at the Surgical Hospital on Kasarmikatu. In addition, the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases has an extensive research cooperation network with both Finnish and international partners.

Its research subjects range from issues of public health and epidemiology to basic research in dental and oral diseases, as well as applied and clinical research.

Contact details

Head of de­part­ment

Professor David Rice
PO Box 41 (Haartmaninkatu 1)
00014 University of Helsinki


Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases
PO Box 41 (Haartmaninkatu 1)
00014 University of Helsinki
Tel: +358 294 1911

Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases
Scientific Research Laboratory
PO Box 63 (Haartmaninkatu 8)
00014 University of Helsinki