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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you direct bill?

YES!

Can I still see my dentist?

Yes, it is essential to still see your dentist at times, and we will strive to ensure this relationship continues.

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.

 

Dental hygienists practice 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, evidenced based, systematic oral health care.

 

  • 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 hygiene programs have courses that include

  • microbiology and infection control

  • anatomy and physiology

  • nutrition and health

  • health promotion and disease prevention

There may be some variation between schools, but most have these essentials.

A final board exam, jurisprudence exam, and then a practice permit is issued prior to working with the public. Most dental hygienists in Canada hold a 3-year diploma, but some have gotten high level education for degrees in dental hygiene, dental science, public health and health sciences.

Who governs dental hygienists in Alberta?

The College of Registered Dental Hygienists of Alberta (CRDHA).

What about Independent Dental Hygienists? Don't they have to be supervised by a dentist?

There is no requirement to be supervised by a dentist in Alberta. The Health Professions Act enacted changes in November 2006 to allow Dental Hygienists in a variety of practice settings like independent dental hygiene clinics like To The Root Dental Hygiene.

These hygienists use their education to work within their scope of practice to have their own clinics, and they can use their skills/knowledge, to see clients as an alternative from a dental office.

What are the benefits of seeing an independent dental hygiene practice?

  • Minimal wait time

  • Accessible and affordable

  • Calm atmosphere