Dental hygienists work in a wide variety of practice settings, including in their own practice or independently within a dental health team. They’re the primary oral health care providers who specialize in services related to clinical therapy, oral health education and health promotion.
Dental hygienists’ scope of practice involves the assessment of teeth and adjacent tissues and treatment by preventive and therapeutic means. This could include treating periodontal disease with scaling or various adjunctive therapies, such as certain medicines and antibiotics that can be placed under the gums and used in conjunction with scaling. Some dental hygienists are also involved in the provision of orthodontic and restorative procedures and services such as working with a dentist to place braces and fillings.
Throughout their career, these registered health care professionals must continuously demonstrate that they have the necessary knowledge, skills and judgment to practise in a safe and competent way by fulfilling the requirements of the College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario’s Quality Assurance Program.