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
Graduates of Non-Accredited Dental Hygiene Programs (including International Programs)
Graduates of dental hygiene programs (within Canada and international) that have not been accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada or by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation should review the Registration Guide before completing the application on the Self-Service Portal.  
Completed application packages must be mailed or delivered to the CDHO for processing.
Additional information and clarification can be found under the Frequently Asked Questions
Assessment of Course of Study
The CDHO does not provide informal assessments. Completed applications are reviewed to ascertain whether the applicant meets the current registration requirements. The application will not be processed if completed improperly or if it does not contain the appropriate supporting documentation.
If an applicant is not eligible to sit the NDHCB examination and wishes to proceed with an application to the CDHO, the application will be referred to the Registration Committee of the CDHO to determine if the applicant’s course of study meets the educational requirements of the CDHO. The applicant must arrange to have an original detailed course description submitted directly to the CDHO from her/his institution of graduation, as well as a detailed description of all the subjects taken within the applicant's course of study and the number of hours spent in each subject. The course description must specify the number of clinical hours that were actually spent on scaling, root planing and prophylaxis procedures, and how many and what types of clients the applicant was required to perform these procedures on during the course of study. The course description must relate to the applicant's years of study.
The CDHO requires an applicant to have reasonable fluency in either English or French. This is assessed informally through the applicant's ability to successfully complete the written examination(s) and clinical competency assessment. Please note that all documents submitted in languages other than English or French must include official translations.
Once a completed application package along with the required supporting documentation has been submitted, it takes approximately three months for the course of study to be assessed and a decision to be handed down by the Registration Committee.
The fee for an assessment is $250.00. This fee is credited towards the initial certificate of registration fee.
To determine equivalency, the members of the Registration Committee review all of the documentation submitted by an applicant and determine what courses of study taken by the applicant are relevant to dental hygiene. The review process is divided into four (4) sections (behavioural sciences, biomedical sciences, oral health sciences, and dental hygiene theory and practice), which address the required elements of course content and application that must be found within the applicant's course of study to establish equivalence. It is more difficult to assess courses of study that were not directly in dental hygiene as the Committee will be reviewing the applicant's course of study for elements of therapeutic/preventive therapy that include preclinical practice and the dental hygiene process of care with respect to a variety of patients/clients. In addition, the Committee will review the applicant's course of study to determine if the areas of oral health education, health promotion and professional practice are covered in sufficient scope and depth to ensure equivalency.
Applicants Who Graduated in Dentistry
A non-exemptible requirement for registration in Ontario is that an applicant must have graduated from a recognized accredited dental hygiene program or one considered substantially equivalent by the Registration Committee of the CDHO. In Ontario, dental hygiene is considered a separate and distinct health profession from dentistry. Work experience is not considered a substitute for training in an educational supervised setting. Therefore, unless an applicant has successfully completed a program of study in dental hygiene in addition to her/his degree in dentistry, it is unlikely that the applicant's course of study would be considered equivalent to a recognized accredited dental hygiene program.
The Registration Committee has, over the years, reviewed many courses of study received from applicants who graduated in dentistry from Colleges/Universities in Bangladesh, China, Croatia, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Iraq, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Syria, United States of America, and Yugoslavia. Although the members of the Committee recognized that there was overlap between the programs, they noted that only rarely does a program of study in dentistry focus on the dental hygiene process of care. Most importantly, the Committee felt that the courses reviewed did not ensure competence in the controlled acts of scaling and root planning relative to the dental hygiene process of care. Therefore, these applicants’ courses of study were not considered equivalent to a recognized accredited dental hygiene program and the applicants were not eligible to sit the CDHO's certificate of registration examinations.
These applicants would be required to complete an approved dental hygiene program prior to re-applying to the CDHO. In Ontario, the educational institutes that teach dental hygiene do not normally take part-time students. Therefore it is usually necessary for an applicant to be first accepted into the dental hygiene program where s/he may receive credit for prior learning. Any prior learning assessment or credit would have to be determined by the dental hygiene program to which the applicant applies. The CDHO has no control over the number of credits, if any, that an applicant who applies to a dental hygiene program in Ontario receives for prior learning.
Please refer to the Registration FAQs for additional information.