College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario
The College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario regulates the practice of dental hygiene in the interest of the overall health and safety of the public of Ontario.

Self-Service-E  FAQ-E

Exam Preparation

The clinical competency evaluation involves the assessment, treatment and evaluation of one adult client over 18 years of age, having a minimum of 20 teeth with some anterior and posterior teeth present in each arch.

At the commencement of the evaluation, candidates are required to present the client's signed consent form, completed medical history, hard and soft tissue assessment and mounted radiographs (if available). Radiographs are not mandatory. The clinical assessment documentation is to be completed prior to presentation at the evaluation site. However, the candidate will be asked to describe his/her findings.

The time allotted for the evaluation is three and one half (3.5) hours. The first hour will be used for the purpose of client assessment and assignment of work areas. Please note that client assessment and selection is a critical component of the evaluation process. During this period, the team of evaluators will spend several minutes with the candidate reviewing the client's medical and dental history, oral inspection and charting forms. Candidates will participate in the decision for assignment based on the needs of the client and candidate’s assessment of the client’s oral condition. Candidates will start treating their client at a time announced and documented by the evaluators. All treatment and self-evaluation documentation will be terminated two and one half (2.5) hours later, or earlier, if a candidate desires. Candidates are expected to evaluate their own work and the condition of the client’s tissues. Evaluators will then complete their evaluation of the clinical performance of the candidates. 

Scaling will be by hand instrumentation only as the candidate must demonstrate that s/he is able to perform debridement when mechanical devices are unavailable. Instruments will not be provided. Candidates must bring properly packaged and sterilized instruments.

Client Selection

Clients must meet the qualifications of a definite DD2 (Class 2) or a light DD3 (Class 3) category in order to provide an appropriate experience in which the candidate can demonstrate debridement and evaluation skills. (A client that is too difficult or too easy may be rejected by the evaluators.) The presentation of a client that meets the stated criteria is part of the evaluation of the candidate as it demonstrates judgement and critical thinking skills. Please ensure that your client does not require pre-medication, local anesthesia or have any medical contraindications to the procedures of scaling or root planning.

The following criteria are in accordance with the DD2-DD3 category outlined in the client classification system agreed upon by the CDHO and the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU):

  • evidence of removable stain is not required;
  • some light to moderate supragingival calculus must be present,
  • subgingival calculus must be present on most posterior teeth
  • periodontal status to include periodontitis with 4 mm sulcus depth in three or more areas 
Treatment Exercise

The area to be treated will be determined with consideration for the degree of difficulty presented by the client and the joint assessment by the candidate and evaluator. Candidates may choose to use topical anesthetic if it benefits the client and there are no medical contraindications. This must be documented.

Each candidate will perform a treatment exercise with the client and will be expected to demonstrate competency in dental hygiene procedures. For example:

  • detecting and removing supra and subgingival calculus
  • removing plaque and extrinsic stains, if required
  • tissue care
  • client management 
Evaluation Criteria

Successful: A satisfactory performance. The candidate has chosen a client based on stipulated assessment criteria. The candidate has performed the task to an acceptable standard of an entry-level dental hygienist meeting the objective with ease and proficiency (within reason). There may have been a certain amount of difficulty related to lack of experience (skill, speed and dexterity), but not to lack of knowledge or judgment.

There may be detectable areas of subgingival calculus remaining, but the candidate is aware of these areas and has identified them. The removal of deposits has taken into account the client assessment, determinants, and the time objective. Tissue care is a consideration.

Unsuccessful: An unsatisfactory performance. The candidate has not presented an acceptable client based on the assessment criteria outlined.

The candidate has an acceptable client but has not performed the task to an acceptable standard expected of an entry-level dental hygienist. Deposits may have been removed but there are significant deposits still remaining and/or undetected. There is an unacceptable amount of tissue trauma. 

Prior to making the final evaluation of the candidate, evaluators will consider written self-evaluation comments made by the candidate on the assignment sheet. 

Evaluation Criteria