As per the Act respecting the NB College of Dental Hygienists, the practice of dental hygiene is defined as the application of professional knowledge for the purpose of providing therapeutic, preventative and maintenance services and programs for the promotion of optimal oral health, including detection and assessment for dental hygiene treatment, the dental hygiene planning of interventions to prevent oral disease and evaluation of oral health practices and behaviours as taught or included in the curriculum of an approved dental hygiene program or an approved dental hygiene module.
Dental hygienists practice by considering the well-being of their clients. Their approach to practice includes:
- following a Code of Ethics and Practice Standards;
- evidence based knowledge and theory practice;
- a Dental Hygiene Process of Care model: Assessment, Diagnosis, Planning, Implementation and Evaluation;
- promoting optimal oral health and general health by providing educational, preventative and therapeutic oral health services.
As part of the practice of dental hygiene, a dental hygienist may act as a researcher, a clinician, consultant, an administrator, educator and/or health promoter. Dental hygienists also collaborates with other health professional for the provision of oral health services, health education and health promotion in order to integrate preventative oral health care into general preventative health care.
In NB, no person other than a member of the NBCDH can assume or use the title “dental hygienist”( D.H.), “registered dental hygienist” (R.D.H.). The title of “dental hygienist” or “registered dental hygienist” indicates that they have met specific educational standards and registration requirements such as
- graduating from an accredited program of dental hygiene;
- successfully completing the National Dental Hygiene Certification Exam;
- maintaining their competencies throughout their career by adhering to the Competencies and Education program established by the NBCDH.
- Pursuing specific education for specific practice procedures such as self-initiation practice, local anesthesia, and restorative.