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Professional Practice

graphical image of the dental hygiene process of care
Dental Hygiene Process of Care

Dental hygiene practice is a process, rather than the performance of specific, regimented or prescribed tasks. The process includes five ongoing phases that are all centred on the individual client:

  • Assessment
  • Diagnosis
  • Planning
  • Implementation
  • Evaluation

At all stages, the dental hygienist demonstrates critical thinking, reflection and problem-solving skills.

The process is systemic and cyclical due to constant and ongoing evaluation.

The individual dental hygienist’s key responsibilities – health promotion, education, being a change agent, providing clinical therapy, conducting and/or applying research, and providing administration duties – will all occur in varying degrees, depending on their practice setting.

Regardless of practice setting, all dental hygienists are obligated to establish organizational structures, policies, and resources that are consistent with their legal, professional and ethical responsibilities as a regulated health professional and promote safety, respect and support for all persons within their practice setting.

More information on the dental hygiene process of care may be found in the Council-approved CRDHA Practice Standards.