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​​​​​​​​​​​​Prescribing and Dispensing Drugs (Including Prescribed Drugs)

The College is frequently asked about the use of prescription drugs in dentistry. Dentists with a full, academic or restricted to specialty registration can prescribe drugs under the Health Professions Act. Dentists may need to administer drugs to provide treatment to a patient or a written prescription may be indicated afterwards. Therefore, it is essential that dental professionals know the requirements for prescribing and dispensing drugs.

The purpose of these standards is to assist registrants in regards to dispensing and prescribing drugs to ensure the safe and effective use of prescription medication.


Prescribing and Dispensing Drugs Standards and Guidelines

  • This document was revised in November 2016. For more details, please see our list of changes (PDF).

Controlled Prescription Program

The Controlled Prescription Program sets the requirements for prescribing controlled substances and was established to prevent forgeries and reduce inappropriate prescribing of selected drugs.

Duplicate pre​​scription pads

Beginning June 2021, a new harmonized order form is now available (linked below). Learn more >>​

Prescribers will transition to the new pads as existing supplies of prescription pads are used up.

​Order a harmonized duplicate prescription pad >>

Dentists who wish to prescribe any of the monitored drugs must order their duplicate prescription pads through CDSBC. Dentists without these pads cannot prescribe the monitored drugs. Prescription pads are personalized and numerically recorded, the prescription pad must be maintained intact in chronological order. Some practitioners may require multiple pads due to the nature of their practice, if so, you must advise the College in writing.

Dentists practising as a locum in more than one office are not required to have their practice address imprinted on the prescription scripts; however, your name and College registration number must be imprinted. Only when you are writing the prescription must you then add the practice address and phone number of the practice where the prescription is being written.

​Returning prescription pads

​Dentists must return all partially and fully unused prescription pads to CDSBC offices (by XpressPost or courier) for shredding if any of the following occur:

  • ​You move your practice out of BC
  • You change your registration class to non-practicing
  • You resign or retire from practice in BC
  • You are instructed to do so by CDSBC staff​

Lost or stolen prescription pads

In the case of lost, stolen or forged prescription pads registrants must:

  • Submit the folio number(s) to the Ministry of Health 1-844-660-3200
  • Provide subscriber's name, location and license number
  • Provide contact information
  • Contact the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner if patient information has been lost

Learn more about lost or stolen prescription pads >>

Additional prescription information

  • All prescription pad orders take approximately 3 weeks to process and there is a maximum of 50 prescription pads per order.
  • Prescriptions are void at midnight, 5 days after the issue date
  • Avoid faxing prescriptions to the pharmacy when possible


Prescription pad order form

CDSBC wellness program

The CDSBC wellness program assists dentists, dental ther​apists or CDAs who are facing addiction or any health issues that could affect their ability to provide safe patient care.

Questions about the wellness program?

Contact CDSBC’s Manager, Monitoring and Compliance, Moninder Sahota to discuss in confidence.
604-714-5300 (ext. 5345)​