Frequently Asked Questions

What is a dental hygienist

Dental hygienists are primary oral health care professionals who provide clinical assessments and therapy, oral health education, and offer health promotion strategies to people of all ages. Dental hygienists practise in a variety of settings, including public health, dental hygiene practice, dental offices, hospitals, long-term care facilities, educational institutions, and in dental industry. Many dental hygienists also conduct or participate in research studies to expand the scientific basis of dental hygiene practice.

What do dental hygienists do?

Dental hygienists provide individualized, systematic oral health care. They:

  • Examine the mouth, oral tissues, head, and neck to identify strengths, needs, and concerns related to your oral health
  • Formulate a dental hygiene diagnosis
  • Work collaboratively with you to develop goals and plan the appropriate care to meet your oral health needs
  • Perform preventive and therapeutic procedures, such as periodontal therapy (removing calculus and plaque from your teeth), take radiographs (x-rays), apply fluoride to prevent tooth decay, and provide support for healthy lifestyle choices in the form of smoking cessation strategies, nutritional counselling, and oral cancer screening.
  • Evaluate your progress in achieving optimal oral health

How are dental hygienists educated?

Dental hygienists are educated at four universities and thirty-three colleges across Canada. The dental hygiene curriculum consists of a variety of subject areas including but not limited to microbiology and infection control, anatomy and physiology, nutrition and health, health promotion and disease prevention. While most dental hygienists in Canada hold a 3-year college diploma, an increasing number have gone on to complete bachelor’s and master’s degrees in dental hygiene, dental science, public health and health sciences.

Who governs dental hygienists?

Regulatory Authorities in Canada. In order to practice in Canada, dental hygienists must be registered or licensed by the appropriate provincial or territorial dental hygiene regulatory authorities. Requirements for registration or licensure varies by province or territory, including differences in clinical experience, examinations required, and continuing education requirements.

Select a province to find the contact information for each of the regulatory authorities in Canada:


College of Registered Dental Hygienists of Alberta
302 - 8657- 51 Avenue
Edmonton AB T6E 6A8
Tel: 780-465-1756
Fax: 780-440-0544
Renewal Date: October 31

British Columbia

College of Dental Hygienists of British Columbia
600-3795 Carey Road
Victoria BC V8Z 6T8
Tel: 800-778-8277 (within BC) or 250-383-4101
Fax: 250-383-4144
Renewal Date: Last day of February


College of Dental Hygienists of Manitoba (CDHM)
109-420 Des Meurons Street
Winnipeg, MB R2H 2N9
Tel: 204-219-2678
Fax: 204-219-2679
Renewal Date: January 15

New Brunswick

NB College of Dental Hygienists (NBCDH)
120 rue High Street Suite #209
Moncton, NB
E1C 6B5
Tel: 1-506-872-3133
Renewal Date: January 1

Newfoundland and Labrador

Registrar, Newfoundland and Labrador Council of Health Professionals
Suite 121
510 Topsail Road
St. John's NL A1E 2C2
Tel: (709) 745-7304 or 1-855-863-8616
Fax: (709) 745-0877
Renewal Date: November 30

Northwest Territories

Registrar, Dept. of Health and Social Services, Government of N.W.T.
5015-49th Street (7th Floor)
PO Box 1320
Yellowknife NT X1A 2L9
Tel: 867-767-9067
Fax: 867-873-0484
Renewal Date: April 1

Nova Scotia

College of Dental Hygienists of Nova Scotia
11 – 2625 Joseph Howe Drive
Halifax, NS
B3L 4G4
Tel: 902-444-7241
Fax: 902-444-7242
Renewal Date: October 31


Dept. of Health and Social Services, Government of Nunavut
Box 390
Kugluktuk, NU X0B 0E0
Tel: 867-982-7668
Fax: 867-982-3256
Renewal Date: April 1


Registrar, College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario
300 - 69 Bloor Street E.
Toronto ON M4W 1A9
Tel: 800-268-2346 (within Ontario) or 416-961-6234
Fax: 416-961-6028
Renewal Date: January 1

Prince Edward Island

Dental Council Prince Edward Island
184 Belvedere Avenue
Charlottetown PE C1A 2Z1
Tel: 902-628-8156
Fax: 902-892-0234
Renewal Date: April 1


Directrice générale, Ordre des hygiénistes dentaire du Québec
1155, rue University, bureau 1212
Montréal QC H3B 3A7
Tel: 800-361-2996 or 514-284-7639
Fax: 514-284-3147
Renewal Date: April 1


Registrar, Saskatchewan Dental Hygienists Association
#320-350 3rd Ave. N
Saskatoon, SK
S7K 6G79
Tel: 306-931-7342
Fax: 306-931-7334
Renewal Date: October 31

Yukon Territory

Licensing Officer, Dept. of Community Services, Community Services,
Government of Yukon

307 Black Street
White Horse YK Y1A 2C6
Tel: 867-667-5940
Fax: 86-667-3609
Renewal Date: April 1

What are my rights as a client?

The Canadian Dental Hygienists Association now offers the public a Dental Hygiene Client's Bill of Rights. It provides information on your rights when receiving dental hygiene care and what to expect of your dental hygienist. By understanding your rights you will make better decisions regarding your own oral health.

Please click here to view the Dental Hygiene Client's Bill of Rights, in PDF format.

    How do I find a dental hygienist?

    Use the new find an independent dental hygienist module, of course!