Your Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH):
Your oral health is key to your overall physical health and your registered dental hygienist is your expert for preventive oral health care.
Your registered dental hygienist is an important member of the oral health care team. He or she works with clients or communities to provide professional treatment and advice to help prevent gum disease and dental cavities, as well as to support and promote total wellness.
Dental hygiene services are provided to individuals across the age spectrum. Registered dental hygienists work with clients ranging from parents in pre-natal classes to the elderly in long term care homes. You may see a registered dental hygienist:
- Teaching an elementary class about oral health care
- Counselling a family about oral health
- Applying fluoride to clients
- Administering local anaesthetic for dental hygiene or dental treatment
- Teaching long term care staff about oral care for the residents
- Working with nurses to prevent sports and playground injuries
- Screening seniors for signs of oral cancer
- Performing head, neck and oral examinations
- Applying pit and fissure sealants to teeth
- Reviewing literature and conducting research
- Removing soft and hard deposits from the teeth (scaling and root planning)
- And so on…
Registered dental hygienists work in a wide variety of practice settings including:
- Private dental practices
- Institutions (e.g. hospitals, long term care homes)
- Public health/community health/homecare and other outreach programs
- Primary health centres
- Educational institutions (e.g. universities and community colleges)
- The military
- Industry (e.g. insurance and dental supply companies)
- Consulting firms
- Regulatory bodies and professional associations
- Regional health authorities
As a member of a self-regulating profession, a registered dental hygienist must practice safely, ethically and effectively for the promotion of the oral health and well-being of the public of Saskatchewan.
In Saskatchewan, all dental hygienists must be registered with the Saskatchewan Dental Hygienists’ Association (SDHA). The SDHA regulates the profession to make sure the public receives safe and effective dental hygiene care. All practicing dental hygienists have been educated at a post-secondary dental hygiene program.