The mission of the College of Dental Hygienists of British Columbia (CDHBC) is to protect the public by developing, advocating, and regulating safe and ethical dental hygiene practice in British Columbia.
In 1951, Canada's first dental hygienist, Mary (Brett) Geddes, was registered by the College of Dental Surgeons in Saskatchewan. The next year, the College of Dental Surgeons of B.C. (CDSBC) registered its first dental hygienist, Norma Bell. The regulation of dental hygienists in B.C. continued under CDSBC until 1995, when the College of Dental Hygienists was established.
CDHBC was proud to celebrate its 15th anniversary in 2010, and 2011 marked the 60th year that dental hygiene has been officially recognized as a health profession in this province.
Today, there are more than 3500 registered dental hygienists in B.C.
As a registrant of a self-regulating profession, a dental hygienist must practice safely, ethically, and effectively for the promotion of the oral health and well-being of the public, as outlined by the CDHBC Practice Standards.
In accordance with the Health Professions Act, the practice of dental hygiene is monitored and regulated by independent governing bodies in each province. Certain provinces, including B.C., require dental hygienists to obtain national certification (see NDHCB) before applying for registration. Those who have not graduated from a program on Schedule I and/or have not been previously registered within Canada, or dental hygienists from other countries, also must successfully challenge the CDHBC Clinical Exam in order to apply for registration to practice within British Columbia.