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Dental Hygiene

What Can a Dental Hygienist Do?

Dental hygienists are primary care oral health professionals who administer a range of oral health services. The range of services dental hygienists offer includes?

  • Prophylaxis

  • Periodontal scaling and root planing/periodontal maintenance

  • Tobacco cessation counseling

  • Local anesthetic administration

  • Supportive restoration services (i.e. placing and removing temporary fillings)

  • Oral health eductation

  • Assessments/screenings

  • Radiographs (x-rays)

  • Sealants

  • Fluoride treatments

  • Nutritional counseling

Dental Hygienists:  Educated and Licensed Providers

Dental hygienists are licensed, preventative oral health professionals who have graduated from accredited dental hygiene programs in institutions of higher education.  They provide educational, clinical, research, administrative and therapeutic services supporting total health through the promotion of optimal oral health.

Dental hygienists must graduate from an accredited dental hygiene education program (typically three academic years in length or more) and pass national written and regional clinical examinations prior to obtaining a license.

Additionally, dental hygienists must take continuing education courses in order to renew their license.  This requirement ensures a working professional that is current with the latest technologies, regulations and delivery of patient care.

Our Dental Hygienists:

Melinda Diggan, RDH, PHDHP

Tracy Mathers, RDH, PHDHP

Mindy Flick, RDH, PHDHP


Brenda Kline, RDH, PHDHP

Laura Farr.jpg

Laura Farr, RDH, PHDHP


Marsha Person, RDH, PHDHP


Nicole Kehoe, RDH, PHDH

Crystal Harrison, RDH

Public Health Dental Hygiene Practitioners

Dental hygienists who obtain PHDHP certification may provide dental hygiene services "without authorization, assignment or examination by a dentist" in specific public health practice sites: schools, correctional facilities, health care facilities, personal care homes, domiciliary care homes, older adult daily living centers, continuing care facilities and Federally Qualified Health Centers.

In all other practice sites, certified PHDPHs are restricted to the scope of practice and supervision requirements for dental hygienists.  Qualifications to obtain the PHDHP certification include:

  • 3,600 hours of dental hygiene practice under the supervision of a licensed dentist.

Additionally, provided that the patient is free of systemic disease or suffers only from mild systemic disease, may perform periodontal probing, scaling, root planning, polishing or another procedure required to remove calculus deposits, excess or flash restorative materials and stains from the exposed surfaces of the teeth and beneath the gingiva.

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