Si vous desirez obtenir les informations du site en français, veuillez contacter le bureau a 416-925-6331 ext. 227 ou par email: Merci!

Protecting The Public

Sexual Abuse Prevention

In December 2014, Ontario’s Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, the Honourable Dr. Eric Hoskins, appointed a task force for the Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Patients to review the effectiveness of the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 in protecting the patients of health care professionals from sexual abuse. The College of Denturists of Ontario (the "College) supports this initiative. Details of the Sexual Abuse Task Force report are located on the Ministry’s website.

The College of Denturists of Ontario has a zero tolerance policy for any form of abuse – verbal, physical, emotional, or sexual abuse - of patients by Denturists. Sexual abuse by Denturists while providing oral health care will not be tolerated under any circumstances. The College is committed to preventing sexual abuse by promoting awareness of the College’s expectations and by effectively addressing patient complaints.

Complaint and discipline procedures with respect to professional misconduct of a sexual nature/patient relations program, is summarized in the Sexual Abuse Prevention Plan distributed in June 1998 to all members.

Behaviour and Remarks of a Sexual Nature

Denturists are required to ensure that their patients are provided with care in an atmosphere in which there are no perceived sexual demands or connotations.

Sexual Abuse is Professional Misconduct

Ontario is one of the only jurisdictions that has legislation that strictly prohibits all sexual contact and intimate relationships between regulated health professionals and their patients. Such relationships and contact is considered sexual abuse under the legislation. The law sets out a clear definition of the sexual abuse of patients. The definition of “sexual abuse” of a patient by a member means:

  • sexual intercourse or other forms of physical sexual relations between the health care professional and the patient,
  • touching, of a sexual nature, of the patient by the health care professional; or
  • behaviour or remarks of a sexual nature by the health care professional towards the patient.

This definition means that a member of the College of Denturists of Ontario cannot have a sexual relationship with a patient, even if the patient consents. Until October 2021, this included spouses. Effective October 21, 2021, there is an exception made for the spouse of a denturist. Accordingly, denturists are now permitted to treat their “spouse” as defined in section 1(6) of the Health Professions Procedural Code.1  This exception is not retroactive and any denturist who treated their spouse prior to October 21, 2021, could still be found to have sexually abused a patient

Regardless of this spousal exception, it is still considered sexual abuse if the conduct, behaviour or remarks made towards a member’s spouse occurs during the practice of the profession.

According to the legislative framework, if proven sexual abuse involves certain sexual acts, then the member’s Certificate of Registration must be revoked. Further, a member is not allowed to apply for reinstatement to the College for five years. At the end of five years, a member is required to prove to a panel of the Discipline Committee that they are no longer a risk to the public should they be allowed to register with the College again.

Information for the Public

For more information, or if you think you have been sexually abused by your Denturist, please contact the Sexual Abuse Liaison or go to the Frequently Asked Questions for Patients or Funding for Therapy and Counseling webpage to learn more. You can speak to the Sexual Abuse Liaison anonymously or arrange to meet with her in person by calling Ms. Tera Goldblatt at 416-925-6331 or 1-888-236-4326 ext. 223 or emailing


Mandatory Reports

All members have a statutory duty to file a Mandatory Report if they have reasonable grounds, obtained in the course of practising the profession, to believe that another regulated health professional has sexually abused a patient.


Contact: Ms. Tera Goldblatt, Manager, Quality Assurance & Sexual Abuse Liaison
T: (416) 925-6331 ext. 223 • TF: 1 (888) 236-4326 ext. 223

1(6) “spouse”, in relation to a member, means,

  • (a) a person who is the member’s spouse as defined in section 1 of the Family Law Act, or
  • (b) a person who has lived with the member in a conjugal relationship outside of marriage continuously for a period of not less than three years.