Dental Hygiene Practice FAQs

What is a Unique Identification Number (UIN)?

A unique identification number (UIN), provided by CDHA, identifies you as the provider if you submit oral health claims to the insurance carriers. Only you can use your UIN — it is not transferrable, nor can it be used by another dental hygienist. Click here to download the UIN Application Form. Once you have completed the application, send it to CDHA. We will process your application and send you your UIN number. Please allow 1 week for processing.

What are the CDHA National Service Codes and are they different from the CDA ULS Codes?

The CDHA National Service Codes are for use by dental hygienists who are practising in an independent dental hygiene practice. The CDHA service codes are different from the CDA ULS procedure codes.

What is the CDHA National Dental Hygiene Claim Form?

The claim form is for the use of dental hygienists who wish to submit a dental hygiene claim from an independent dental hygiene practice. Dental hygienists who work in dental offices do not typically submit claims in their own name.

What is CDHA-ACHDnet?

CDHA-ACHDnet is the network managed by CDHA to transmit electronic claims from independent dental hygienists to the insurance carriers. It is the only network that is configured to accept dental hygiene claims.

What do I need to do to submit electronic claims?
  • Complete the Electronic Billing Enrolment Form and the Subscription Agreement and send them to CDHA. These applications are processed every Monday.
  • You will receive confirmation from CDHA, along with an office number, 3 numbers ending in “H” ( # # # H) and set–up instructions.
  • CDHAnet requires the user to have practice management software. Here is a list of acceptable software.
  • You will also need to have internet access.
Who can I contact for a status update of my CDHAnet application?

If you have received your office number from CDHA, please contact instream directly for a status update on your application at 1-855-521-1121 or If you have not received your office number from CDHA, please contact CDHA at 1-800-267-5235.

Do all insurance carriers accept dental hygiene claims? How many accept electronic claims?

The full list of carriers that accept dental hygiene claims can be found here.

I need to take a clinical refresher course. Where are they offered?

The links below provide information on clinical refresher courses. Please check with your provincial or territorial regulatory body to ensure that these courses meet the requirements in your jurisdiction.

Where can I study dental hygiene in Canada?

All dental hygiene programs offered in Canada have been accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada (CDAC). You will find a complete list of degree and diploma programs on CDHA’s website.

How many hours of professional development do I need?

Quality assurance programs vary greatly across the country, and the standards for these programs are set by the regulatory bodies. Please contact your provincial or territorial regulatory body for further information on the requirement. You will find a list of regulatory bodies on CDHA’s website.

I am organizing a community event and need to recruit volunteers.

CDHA members are invited to submit free event listings to our Volunteer Events Calendar

Where can I find research articles to support evidence-informed decision making when working with my clients?

The Canadian Journal of Dental Hygiene (CJDH) is the only peer-reviewed journal published in Canada exclusively for dental hygienists. Established in 1966, CJDH encourages research in oral health by publishing studies, literature reviews, case reports, and short communications of scientific and professional interest to dental hygienists and other oral health professionals. The journal is published in February, June, and October, and is publicly available online.

In 2009, CDHA created a Research Advisory Committee to advance research in the dental hygiene profession with a view to improving the health of Canadians. CDHA’s research agenda provides a foundation for the current national oral health priorities and directs future dental hygiene research efforts.

I have been offered a clinical dental hygiene position with a dentist. We are negotiating wages. Where can I find information on employment and salaries in Canada?

Every two years, CDHA conducts a dental hygiene Job Market & Employment Survey to gauge employment trends in Canada and generate statistics on all aspects of the profession. The survey is sent to dental hygienists across the country. It includes questions about salary rates, employment benefits, workplace injuries, and practice environment, etc. The most recent survey was conducted in 2015; the results are available free of charge to members.

I am moving from Ontario to another province. Do I need to take additional courses in order to practise in the new jurisdiction?

Each province has unique regulations and standards for the practice of dental hygiene. You will need to contact the dental hygiene regulatory body in your new province to determine the criteria that must be met before you can practise there. CDHA provides an overview of scope of practice differences across provinces online.

I am a graduate dental hygienist from outside Canada. How can I work in Canada?

Please refer to the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials’ website for information regarding the registration process for dental hygienists in Canada.

I am a Canadian registered dental hygienist and am interested in working overseas. Where can I find information on employment opportunities?

The International Federation of Dental Hygienists (IFDH) provides information on 26 countries where dental hygiene is a recognized profession.

There have been some changes in my employment conditions that I believe are unfair and place me at a disadvantage. Where can I get information and help?

You can receive assistance from your provincial or territorial government’s employment standards branch. The following is a link to all provincial and territorial offices.

I work in a dental office that bills via CDAnet. As an Independent Dental Hygienist, can I be added to the dentists account for eBilling?

Although you cannot be added to the dentists CDAnet account for eBilling, there are a couple software vendors that allow both dentists and dental hygienists to set up separate accounts and bill with their respective codes. The ones we are aware of are Maxident and Abeldent.

Dentists and dental hygienists must submit benefit claims under their own Unique Identification Number (UIN) and using their own systems. (CDAnet for Dentists and CDHAnet for Dental Hygienists). CDHAnet uses the CDHA National List of Services Codes. The service codes and fee guides are different than those used by dentists. When transmitting dental claims, only the services provided by the treating dental hygienist can be transmitted under the dental hygienist’s own UIN.