"As primary oral health care providers, dental hygienists provide a variety of services in a variety of settings, for the purpose of improving the oral health of the client and the public." - http://www.cdho.org/Reference/English/StandardsofPractice2012.pdf|
The CDHO Dental Hygiene Standards of Practice, which includes information pertaining to the responsibility, accountability, knowledge application, continuing competence and professionalism expected of dental hygienists, evolved from the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association (CDHA) Practice Standards for Dental Hygienists in Canada, and was adapted to conform to Provincial regulations.
In 2010 the CDHO council adopted, the Entry-to-Practice Competencies and Standards for Canadian Dental Hygienists which defines a national perspective on the knowledge and abilities dental hygienists require to practise competently and responsibly. The document amends and replaces the original CDHO Dental Hygiene Standards of Practice and becomes effective January 1, 2012.
Dental hygienists are responsible for applying flourides and sealants to teeth, educating clients about oral health care, evaluating oral health care, removing plaque from along the gum line as well as processing and interpreting x-rays, alhtough, duties of a dental hygienist can vary according to geographical location.
To become a dental hygienist a qualification, either a certificate, an associate degree or a bachelor's degree in dental hygiene is required. Post-secondary education, involves a two-year education program, the minimum requirement to be licensed. Dental hygienist programs are overseen by a board, in Canada Dental programs are regulated by the National Dental Examining Board of Canada (NDEB). After graduating from an accredited program, passing a national licensing exam is required to hold the Registered Dental Hygienist title.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, technology, health care, and education sectors should add the most new jobs with an expected 36 per cent employment growth from 2008 to 2018. Dental hygienist jobs are available in hospitals, private clinics, schools and organizations and although salary will vary according to the employment setting dental hygiene school graduates can expect $25 to $30 per hour. In Ontario dental hygienist salaries currently average at $40 per hour, the average yearly dental hygienist salary in Toronto is approximately $80k for full time employment.