About Dental Hygienists

Dental hygienists have been recognized as health care professionals in Canada for more than 50 years. Dental hygiene was legally recognized in PEI as a health occupation in 1950. Today there are over 75 dental hygienists registered in the province of PEI, and about 22,000 Registered Dental Hygienists across Canada.

What does a dental hygienist do?

 Dental hygienists are regulated health professionals who specialize in oral health promotion and disease prevention. They work with individual clients or communities to prevent and treat tooth, gum and mouth diseases that can affect quality of life and overall health. Dental hygiene services are provided to individuals across the age spectrum, ranging from parents in pre-natal classes to the elderly in long-term care facilities.

Most PEI Dental hygienists practice as clinicians in private dental offices, while others work as educators in universities/colleges, or provide dental hygiene services and health promotion programming in a variety of settings such as personal care homes, schools, within regional health authorities, and in public or community health programs.


At a dental office, dental hygienists do more than clean teeth. They also can:

Screen for oral cancer & other conditions

Examine your gingival & periodontal health (gums) to plan, treat and evaluate individualized dental hygiene care

Expose & develop dental radiographs

Provide therapeutic treatment for gingivitis & periodontal disease

Offer tobacco cessation counseling

Provide home care advice, including products that work for you & your family

Provide diet counseling for cavity-prone individuals

Apply decay-preventing agents to teeth, including fluoride treatment and pit & fissure sealants

Fabricate custom mouthguards

Place fillings

Provide orthodontic care

Work collaboratively with other health professionals to best meet your needs