Honouring the past...

History of Dental Hygiene in Nova Scotia

http://www.nsdha.ns.ca/History-2.jpgThe College of Dental Hygienists of Nova Scotia (CDHNS) has evolved from a member association the Nova Scotia Dental Hygienists Association (NSDHA) to a regulatory body.

Dental hygienist began to work in Nova Scotia in 1955, with the institution of dental hygiene clinics in some of the provincial schools. These clinics were established by the Nova Scotia Department of Health, Dental Health Division under the direction of Dr. Gordon Dawson.
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Dr. Dawson also prepared the first Act respecting the practice of Dental Hygiene in the province. From 1955 to 1962, the only practicing dental hygienists in Nova Scotia were bursary students under contract to the Nova Scotia Department of Health. These dental hygienists were graduates from schools in the United States, usually New York City or the University of Toronto, Canada.
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In 1962, the School of Dental Hygiene was formed at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The inception of the Nova Scotia Dental Hygienists Association (NSDHA) occurred in 1962, with 10 founding members. These early members were very active in the formation of the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association (CDHA). The inaugural meeting of this national association was held in 1963.
The NSDHA became incorporated under the Societies Act in 1973.
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http://www.nsdha.ns.ca/History-3.jpgSince its inception the NSDHA has grown to over 700 members
Until 2009 dental hygienists in Nova Scotia were licensed by the Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia and were regulated under the Dental Act.
In the mid1970’s discussions begin to take place within NSDHA regarding the practice of dental hygiene in Nova Scotia. Over the next 30 years NSDHA saw many changes take place within health care and in the dental hygiene profession across Canada particularly in the areas of regulation and access to care. The NSDHA took as their mission to improve access to oral health care for Nova Scotians. This lead to the long term goal of legislative change. After an extensive period of negotiation on December13, 2007 the Dental Hygienists Act of Nova Scotia received Royal Assent. Subsequent regulations pursuant to the Act awaited approval and proclamation. Proclamation of the Act and Regulations took place on 2009. Under the Act, forty seven years after its inception the NSDHA dissolved and the College of Dental Hygienists of Nova Scotia (CDHNS) came into being. The result is dental hygienists in Nova Scotia regulate, license and discipline their own profession and can deliver care directly to the public. The dedication and commitment of many individuals and groups resulted in dental hygienists in Nova Scotia being able to practice within their full scope in a variety of settings to increase the public’s access to dental hygiene care.

 

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