New Dental Hygiene Rules in New Brunswick Improve Access to Oral Health Care

The Canadian Dental Hygienists Association (CDHA) congratulates the New Brunswick Minister of Health, Hon. Hugh J. Flemming, on approving new dental hygiene rules that permit independent practice, an expanded scope of practice for dental hygienists and increased requirements for licensing and continuing competencies.

CDHA president, Sandra Lawlor says, “We are delighted with this announcement and pleased to have supported the New Brunswick Dental Hygienists Association (NBDHA) in their work to achieve self-regulation”. The mandate of the NBCDH is to protect the public by developing, advocating and regulating safe and ethical dental hygiene practice in NB.

Beginning January 2013, dental hygienists who meet additional education requirements, as specified in the NBCDH rules, can apply for a specific license designation that will allow them to practice independently in collaboration with other health care professionals regardless of their practice setting. Dental hygienists who do not apply and/or qualify for this category of registration will continue to practice with supervision. In addition, dental hygienists can now administer local anesthetic with additional education ensuring client comfort during dental hygiene treatment.

These changes create exciting new opportunities for dental hygienists to reach out beyond the traditional practice setting” says Lawlor. Putting the needs of clients first and providing improved access to dental hygiene care will positively impact underserved populations, such as those in long term care, and go a long way toward improving health and quality of life. The CDHA looks forward to continuing our work with dental hygienists across Canada to optimize dental hygienists’ contributions to oral health care.

Serving the profession since 1963, CDHA is the collective national voice of more than 24,000 registered dental hygienists working in Canada, directly representing 16,500 individual members including dental hygienists and students. Dental hygiene is the 6th largest registered health profession in Canada with professionals working in a variety of settings, including independent practice, with people of all ages, addressing issues related to oral health. For more information on oral health, visit: