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Dental hygienist-owned practices: Reworking dentistry by means of prevention

Because the health-care panorama shifts towards preventive drugs, dental hygienists discover themselves on the forefront of transformative adjustments inside dentistry. In some states, an extra licensure avenue empowers hygienists to redefine the oral health-care mannequin by means of dental hygienist-owned practices. Within the state of California this is named a Registered Dental Hygienist in Different Follow (RDHAP).1

Additionally by the creator … Skilled advocacy: 4 methods for achievement in dental hygiene

What’s an RDHAP?

RDHAPs have the power to apply with out the direct supervision of a dentist. This autonomy will increase entry to care in underserved areas, together with colleges, hospitals, foster properties, nursing services, and extra. RDHAPs are capable of set their very own schedules, decide the time allotted for every affected person, and lead their practices with a preventive, patient-centric method.

The scope of apply for RDHAPs continues to evolve. In 2021 the scope of apply expanded, permitting RDHAPs to manage native anesthetic with out direct supervision of a dentist.

“A licensed registered dental hygienist in different apply (RDHAP) could carry out gentle tissue curettage and administer native anesthesia in accordance with the provisions of this part. The RDHAP shall:

  • Seek the advice of with a California licensed dentist to authorize using gentle tissue curettage or native anesthesia for every affected person to be handled by the RDHAP in native anesthesia or gentle tissue curettage. The session shall be documented within the affected person’s chart and embrace, with out limitation, the date of session, title of consulting dentist, and the consulting dentist’s California license quantity.
  • Have the bodily presence on the premises of 1 further particular person skilled in fundamental life help and certified to manage cardiopulmonary resuscitation throughout an emergency when gentle tissue curettage or native anesthesia administration will happen. For the aim of part 1926.01 (b) “instantly out there” means bodily presence.
  • Have entry to moveable oxygen administration gear to help with administration of fundamental life help.”2

First dental board-approved RDHAP program

West Los Angeles Faculty was the primary dental board-approved RDHAP program in 2002.3 The school affords a complete four-month RDHAP program, priced at $4,500. California State Legislation and Ethics Written Examinations could also be taken upon completion of all state and RDHAP program necessities.

RDHAP program necessities

Necessities to enter the RDHAP program embrace:

  • Holding a California license as a registered dental hygienist
  • Medical apply as a dental hygienist for at least 2,000 hours
  • Holding a bachelor’s diploma or transcripts demonstrating the equivalency of 120 school semester items

For dental hygienists aiming to increase their skilled scope and obtain extra autonomy, pursuing further licensure choices like RDHAP may very well be an excellent answer. Acquiring this licensure opens the door to hygienist-owned practices, which will increase entry to care and promotes collaboration between dental hygienists and dentists.

You may additionally be taken with … Rising your dental hygiene profession path by means of medical-dental integration

Editor’s notice: This text first appeared in Medical Insights publication, a publication of the Endeavor Enterprise Media Dental Group. Learn extra articles and subscribe.


  1. Nathe C. The innovation of the RDHAP. RDH journal. February 13, 2015.
  2. Title 16, California Code of Laws. Dental Hygiene Board of California Division of Client Affairs. Order of Adoption. State of California Workplace of Administrative Legislation. February 10, 2022.
  3. turn into a licensed dental auxiliary in California, Registered Dental Hygienist in Different Follow (RDHAP), software directions. Dental Hygiene Board of California. State of California. 2023.

Britt Glauz, BSDH, RDH, has 10 years of expertise within the dental discipline. With three years of medical apply as a dental hygienist, Britt has turn into an advocate for hygienists worldwide. Because the creator of BrushwithBritt, she makes use of her data and experience to teach, empower, and encourage hygienists. She has over 79,000 followers on TikTok, 53,000 followers on Instagram, and a podcast with over 55 episodes. She is devoted to advancing the careers of dental hygienists by means of interprofessional collaboration and medical-dental integration. Contact her at [email protected].



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