New Oral Health Professions

and Fostering of Interprofessional Partnerships

International Federation of Dental Hygienists'- IFDH.ORG

Recognize different career opportunities that are available to dental hygienists.

Connecticut and New Mexico

Allow RDH with at least 2 yrs experience to provide care in public health facilities without a dentist’s supervision

New Mexico developed model for collaborative practice, an RDH may develop a collaborative agreement with one or more Dentist.


• RDH can form a affiliated agreement with dentist and provide dental hygiene services for children who are below the poverty level and RDH services can be provided without prior examination by the dentist

South Carolina

• Allows dental hygienists to provide selected services in public health settings without prior authorization of dentist. This includes screenings, oral prophy, and sealants.

Washington and Oregon

RDH who meet certain criteria, can work independently under a limited access permit and provide services in alternative settings, such as nursing homes and schools

Several states such as Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Minnesota, Colorado, and Ohio, allow RDH to place restorations in teeth prepared by the dentist

Opportunities in veterinary offices, forensics, and in prisons.

Veterinary offices:

· Hygienists can volunteer under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian


· RDH can volunteer to be involved in dental forensics.

· Forensics dentistry helps aid in the identification of unknown victims of mass casualty, criminal acts, murder investigations, or missing persons.


· Considered community service

· Receives annual pay and benefits.

· RDH works under a supervising DDS

Opportunities for dental hygienist to work in other countries

· Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Cambodia have RDH and dental nurses/therapists

· Poland and Russia have RDH

· Some countries don’t see registered dental hygienist as a role and utilize dental assistants and dental nurses

· Further details on being able to work aboard and the roles a RDH has in other countries can be found at the International Federation of Dental Hygienists’ (IFDH)

· The website this information can be found on is