Registered Dental Hygienists (RDH)

Registered Dental Hygienists are health professionals who specialize in preventing oral health problems and diseases.   They practise interprofessionally with dentists, denturists, physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, chiropractors and massage therapists, etc., to provide you with optimal services.

Registered Dental Hygienists are governed under the Regulated Health Professions Act 1991 (RHPA) and Dental Hygiene Act 1991 (DHA).  Dental Hygienists follow Standards of Practice and Ethics set out by the College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario (CDHO)

Dental Hygienists are the 6th largest regulated health profession in Canada with 24,000 practitioners in Canada and over 12,000 Dental Hygienists registered in Ontario. Four percent of Dental Hygienists having established their own practice outside of a dentist’s office, primarily in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario-since the passing of Bill 171.

On September 1, 2007, Bill 171 was passed allowing Ontario residents greater flexibility in choosing their oral healthcare provider.  The public is now able to choose their oral healthcare provider, giving them greater accessibility to oral healthcare without first having to see a dentist.   The amendment to the Dental Hygiene Act, 1991 means that authorized Dental Hygienists are able to provide dental hygiene services to clients including professional debridement “cleaning” outside of the traditional dental office.

For more detailed information on “authorized self-initiation” see the link below from the College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario;


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