College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario
The College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario regulates the practice of dental hygiene in the interest of the overall health and safety of the public of Ontario.

Self-Service-E  FAQ-E

Clients of Illegal Practitioners

Only persons who are registered with the CDHO may call themselves a “Registered Dental Hygienist”, or use the abbreviation, “RDH”, or any variation of these two titles.

Title is protected by law, and indicates to the public that persons:

  • have met the requirements to be a member of the regulated profession of dental hygiene;
  • practise according to the standards of practice of the profession; and
  • are accountable to the College for their conduct and practice.

Why Should I Be Concerned?

By seeing an illegal practitioner, you are putting your health at risk!

Illegal practitioners:

  • do not meet the Canadian educational requirements;
  • have not demonstrated competency to practise;
  • are not monitored and supported in continuous competency by the CDHO Quality Assurance Program;
  • perform services that are not covered by dental insurance; and
  • do not carry liability insurance.

What should I do if I think someone is holding themselves out as a dental hygienist or is using title?

It is important that patients and clients know who is delivering their care. In choosing a registered dental hygienist (RDH), the public can be assured that this professional is qualified to deliver safe and quality care.

To check that someone is a registered dental hygienist, use the CDHO register, called Find a Registered Dental HygienistOnly persons who are listed on the register are qualified and permitted to practise dental hygiene in Ontario.

When you search the list of people under Find a Registered Dental Hygienist, you can view all the publicly available information about dental hygienists who are registered, or were previously registered, with the College. Learn more about the information available here.

What Will CDHO Do If Someone Is Not Registered (Illegal Practitioner)?

It is illegal in Ontario for someone to use the title "dental hygienist", the initials “RDH” or any variation if they are not registered with the College.

CDHO investigates persons who engage in dental hygiene practice or hold themselves out to be a dental hygienist without being registered to practise in Ontario. At the conclusion of an investigation, the CDHO may:

  • inform the person that they must be registered with the College to use title;
  • issue a cease and desist order; or
  • proceed with a court injunction or a prosecution.

If you know of someone who calls themselves a dental hygienist or RDH and you cannot find them on the Register, contact the Manager, Complaints & Investigations toll free at 1-800-268-2346 ext. 240 or email