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

Obligations of Employers to Employ Registered Dental Hygienists



Employers have a legal obligation to confirm their employees are registered with the CDHO and not engaged in unauthorized practice. This protects the public from harm, by ensuring that the dental hygienists who provide oral health care services are registrant’s of the College.

There are other consequences to employing as a dental hygienist, even inadvertently, persons who are not registered with the CDHO.

  • Under the Regulated Health Professions Act1991 employers of individuals who contravene the law are subject to fines.
  • If a client complains against the employer or if there is an incident involving an employee who is not registered with the CDHO, issues of liability may arise.
  • Client insurance may be invalidated where services are provided by persons who are not dental hygienists. Employees may be in a situation where a claim has been submitted for dental hygiene services that may not be a proper claim.



Tip 1 – Before Hiring a Dental Hygienist

Often, employers face time constraints in which to hire a dental hygienist on a contract or a permanent basis. The employers miss a step, and do not check the prospective employee’s registration status with the CDHO. In other situations, employers think that the employment agency they retained to review candidates has verified the registration status of the agency staff. Regretfully, both circumstances put employers at risk.

Checking the register, called “Find a Registered Dental Hygienist” takes no more than 2 minutes and can prevent unauthorized practice.

The register contains all the publicly available information about registered dental hygienists in Ontario. It can be accessed 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. CDHO’s registration process verifies that registrants have the necessary qualifications to practise safely and ethically. To confirm the registration status of a prospective employee, click on the ‘Find a Registered Dental Hygienist' link on the CDHO homepage. Complete one of the search fields.


Tip 2 – Re-Registration, Return from Parental or Other Leave

Do not assume employees returning from a leave are registered. Many employees opt to resign their College registration when they take a leave from employment. Employers must ensure that employees re-register with the College prior to returning to a position where they will hold themselves out to be a dental hygienist.

Employers are encouraged to contact Registration Program staff by telephone or email if they have any questions regarding this process or the registration status of a person.

For further information contact the Manager, Registration at 416-961-6234 ext. 241 or email