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Knowledge of Dental Hygiene Practice in Nova Scotia: Jurisprudence (disponible en Français)

Course Details

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  • CDHA member fee: $50.00
  • CDHA student member fee: Not Available
  • Non-member fee: $100.00

Note that course registration fees are non-refundable.

Course Description

This section is designed for those dental hygienists who may have previously completed the Self-Initiation for Dental Hygienists Course in another jurisdiction.

The "Knowledge of Dental Hygiene Practice in Nova" course will ensure you have comprehensive knowledge of the regulations of the dental hygiene process of care, which forms the framework within which dental hygiene care is conducted.

The course reviews the Dental Hygienists Act of Nova Scotia,2007, and the accompanying Regulations, and includes information on the “CDHNS Best Practices for Self-Initiation,” which outlines all contraindications to self-initiating scaling and root planing, including curetting surrounding tissue, as per the Regulations. The course will also assist you in understanding the requirements for an order from a dentist, according to the Regulations’ Schedule A: “SuggestedProtocol for Authorizing Dental Hygienists to Perform Procedures.” Knowledge of the contraindications to self-initiation of dental hygiene care will help you make a professional judgment about whether to consult, refer, or postpone treatment. The requirements of informed consent and record-keeping are also considered.

More Course Information

Course Information

Registration for the course is done online and the course is taken online in the comfort of your home, at your convenience and your pace. You may pause and restart at any time. It is expected that the course will take about 5 hours to complete; however, you can take as much time as you need, with the exception of the final examination. You may wish to break up your learning into several shorter sessions.

A resource manual has been developed for the course. It can be downloaded and printed as a complement to the course. It is a valuable learning tool with learning outcomes, pre-tests, learning activities, summaries, post-tests, and suggested additional resources such as links to websites, etc. It is important that your participation includes the learning activities as they have been designed to contribute to the knowledge required to self-initiate dental hygiene care and pass the final examination.

The required textbook for this course is one of the following:

  • Darby and Walsh, 2003, Dental Hygiene Theory and Practice 2nd edition, St. Louis: Saunders or
  • Darby and Walsh, 2010, Dental Hygiene Theory and Practice 3rd edition, St. Louis: Saunders.

Either may be ordered online at or at There is also a list of resources and reference materials (print and electronic) in the resource manual.

A pre-test is presented at the beginning of each section and a post-test at the end of each section. A final timed multiple-choice examination is administered upon completion of the course. Upon successful completion of the examination, a certificate of completion issued by CDHA may be printed from your computer.

For those applying to the CDHNS for registration and a practicing licence, completion of this course is necessary under Regulation 8(1) (g). This requirement is referred to in Section XI on the application form. You must submit a copy of the certificate of completion with your application.

The development of this continuing education course has been made possible through an original financial contribution from the College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario and the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association. The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of the College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario or the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association.


Relevance to Practice

The Standard of Practice for Self-Initiation for dental hygiene care applies to all CDHNS members who plan to self-initiate the controlled acts of "scaling teeth and root planing, including curetting surrounding tissue." Successful completion of this course provides the evidence required to meet the CDHNS best-practice standards to obtain the required authorization for self-initiation. This confirms a level of knowledge, skill, and judgment that ensures safe and effective care for Nova Scotians


Patricia Grant

Patricia Grant has been an assistant professor for many years in the School of Dental Hygiene at Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, where she is currently teaching in the newly established degree program.

Diane Landry

Dianne Landry provides consulting and facilitation services to dental hygiene associations and regulatory authorities. She has extensive experience in several professional dental hygiene roles. She has practised as clinician, educator in public health and dental hygiene programs, administrator, and consultant.

Sue MacIntosh

Sue MacIntosh practised in private clinical settings in Nova Scotia for over twenty-five years. For the past decade, she has enjoyed working in a public health setting with the Pictou County Health Authority, located in New Glasgow, NS.

Sharon Cavanagh

Sharon Cavanagh currently provides individualized training for dental hygienists who wish to return to practice.

Maria Elena Tigner

Maria Elena Tigner currently holds the position of professor of dental programs at Algonquin College in Ottawa, where she is teaching oral histopathology, periodontics, and clinical dental hygiene, among other courses.

Sandra Lawlor

Sandra Lawlor has practised clinical dental hygiene for thirty-one years, and is also a part-time faculty instructor at the Canadian Institute of Dental Hygiene.

Lisa Taylor

Lisa Taylor practised clinically in a variety of settings for twenty years before joining the College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario (CDHO) in her current position as practice advisor and quality assurance administrator.

Brenda Leggett

Brenda Leggett has over twenty years of experience as a dental hygiene educator at Georgian College and Algonquin College. She has practised in community health as a dental hygiene administrator, and remains active as a clinical dental hygienist in private practice.

Laura Myers

Laura Myers is currently the director of education at CDHA. She has extensive dental hygiene experience in education, administration, and restorative and community health, and remains active in clinical practice.

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