Dental Hygiene Practice in Canada

The licensing of dental hygiene practitioners in Canada is a provincial and territorial responsibility, and each jurisdiction has different requirements.


Licensure or Registration

In Canada, responsibility for the licensure or registration for dental hygiene practice rests with the provincial or territorial dental hygiene regulatory authorities. A license, certificate or permit issued by one jurisdiction is applicable only within the geographic confines of that jurisdiction.

Requirements for licensure or registration as a dental hygienist vary among Canadian dental hygiene regulatory authorities. Those variations may include differences in educational requirements, clinical competencies, continuing education requirements, language competencies, and written and/or clinical practice examinations.

The NDHCE is intended to fulfill the written examination requirement. However, requirement of the NDHCB Certificate for licensure or registration is completely at the discretion of each provincial or territorial dental hygiene regulatory authority. Dental hygiene regulatory authorities in all provinces except Quebec, require the NDHCB Certificate as one requirement for licensure or registration.


Please contact the provincial or territorial dental hygiene regulatory authority directly, for information on licensure or registration requirements in their jurisdiction.


Please note that it is your individual responsibility to find out the specific requirements for licensure or registration of the province in which you wish to practice.


Dental Hygiene Practice

Dental Hygiene is a regulated health service profession with a unique body of knowledge, distinct expertise, recognized standards of practice and a Code of Ethics.


The theory and practice of Dental Hygiene includes preventive oral health and health promotion interventions. Dental Hygiene practice is a collaborative relationship in which the dental hygienist works with the client, other health care professionals and society in general to achieve and maintain optimal oral health as an integral part of well-being.


The Dental Hygiene process utilizes a systems approach to services which includes assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation. Dental Hygiene practice encompasses the key responsibilities of clinical therapy, health promotion, education, administration, change agent and research, in a variety of settings.


The management of dental hygiene care must ensure protection of the public and a high quality of care through appropriate education, certification, and licensure or registration of the dental hygiene practitioner.