Dental hygienists in Québec can now practice independently and provide oral care to patients.  The Québec legislature approved a bill on Thursday that makes the changes possible.

“Dental hygienists will finally be able to offer direct oral care to the population, access to these services will be improved for several at-risk clienteles, such as young people, seniors, people reduced mobility, and those living in remote areas,” said Québec order of dental hygienists President Jean-François Lortie.

“For the first time in nearly 50 years, since the beginnings of the dental hygienist profession dental hygienist in Quebec, activities reserved for hygienists have been legally recognized.  From now on, Quebeckers will be able to make an appointment directly with the dental hygienist they choose, whether in the dental office or at their own location,” said Lortie.

The new legislation allows hygienists to assess the oral condition, descale and polish teeth, apply fluoride treatment, and to design and manufacture mouth guards for athletes.  Hygienists may even have their own business in order to provide preventive care in daycares and private senior’s residences.

The government has allowed the order of hygienists to adopt a regulation setting out the conditions under which dental hygienists can perform periodontal treatments that remove tartar and plaque above the gumline without a prescription from a dentist.

According to the order, Quebecers pay the most for oral care in Canada.  The new law will make it so people no longer have to pay two professionals systematically for preventive care.

The Ordre des hygiénistes dentaires du Québec now has more than 6,500 members and ensures the protection of the public by monitoring the practice of the profession. The order promotes professional development of dental hygienists in prevention, education, and encourages the achievement of excellence in the practice of the profession.