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

Public Education Program Focus

Program Focus


In Ontario, you can expect to receive quality preventive oral hygiene care from health professionals who are registered with the College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario (CDHO).

The College isn’t a school itself, but does make sure that dental hygienists meet all of the required training and educational standards before they can practise or use “dental hygienist” as a professional title. The College also has a mandatory quality assurance program, which requires dental hygienists to maintain current knowledge and practices.

Only regulated health professionals—unlike unregulated care providers—are responsible to a regulatory body for the quality of care they deliver.

The College has the responsibility and legal authority to protect the right of Ontarians to quality oral health care services. To represent the public’s interests, the College is directed by a Council that consists of both members of the public and members of the profession.

Protecting the interest and rights of the public is a commitment which the College takes very seriously.

As part of this commitment, the College wants you to be aware of your rights when seeing a dental hygienist.

Know Your Rights

  1. The right to safe, competent and ethical care.

    The College sets the requirements for entering the dental hygiene profession, creates practice standards, runs a quality assurance program, and enforces standards of practice and professional conduct for over 14,000 registered dental hygienists. That helps ensure you receive high levels of skill, applied knowledge and treatment by your dental hygienist.

  2. The right to be an active participant in your care.

    You have a right to ask questions, get clear explanations of your health issues and be informed of all the risks and benefits of any proposed treatment options.

  3. The right to informed consent.

    This means that after receiving an explanation that you fully understand, you can agree to, or refuse any procedure, for any reason, at any time. 

  4. The right to a second opinion.

    You have the right to seek advice from another dental hygienist regarding your treatment options.

  5. The right to your dental hygienist’s professional record.

    You can easily access information about your dental hygienist’s registration with the College, their qualifications, special designations, restrictions on their practice (if any), professional misconduct findings, and more. This information can be found on the Find a Registered Dental Hygienist.

  6. The right to privacy.

    You can be assured that your personal health information remains confidential. Personal health information includes identifying information about your health, like your family history, or details of a visit to your dental hygienist. At the same time, you have the right to access, view and get a copy of that information if you request it within a reasonable time.

  7. The right to transparency about costs and fees.

    You have the right to ask your dental hygienist for a fee estimate and breakdown. You should also expect to receive a copy and explanation for all insurance claims submitted on your behalf. How to Protect Yourself Against Benefits Fraud

  8. The right to voice any concerns about the care you have received.

    Through the College, you can raise any issues about your care, and formally complain if desired. The primary responsibility of the College is to protect the public and the College does this by holding each dental hygienist professionally accountable for their conduct and practice.