dental hygenist salaryUnder the Dental Hygienists Act of Nova Scotia, a person who wishes to work as a dental hygienist in Nova Scotia must be registered with the College of Dental Hygienists of Nova Scotia (CDHNS). 

Registration with the CDHNS assures the public and employers that an individual has met the academic and other requirements to practice in the profession. 

Persons who meet the requirements for registration will be issued a unique registration number and Practicing License. Practicing licenses expire on October 31 of each year. Registered members must renew their Practicing License and pay the required fees each year. 

If you are a graduate of a dental hygiene program or are about to graduate from a dental hygiene program and would like to apply for registration to practice in Nova Scotia, please click HERE. You can contact the CDHNS at (902)-444-7241 for further information. 

You should be aware that practicing dental hygiene in Nova Scotia without being registered with the College and without holding a Practicing License is a punishable offence under the Dental Hygienists Act.

General Registration Requirements

Following is a brief description of the registration requirements. Details are provided in the College registration information package. 

  • Education
    Applicants require a diploma or degree in dental hygiene from an accredited dental hygiene in Canada (or equivalent)  
  • Currency of practice
    Applicants must meet one of the following:
    Completion of a dental hygiene diploma or degree within the 3 years immediately preceding the date the application for registration is received;
    Provide evidence of practice as a dental hygienist within the 3 years immediately preceding the date of the application for registration is received; or
    Have successfully completed a Council-approved refresher education program within the year immediately preceding the date the application for registration is received. 
  • Canadian National Dental Hygiene Certification Board Examination
    All applicants for registration are required to provide evidence of successful completion of the NDHCB examination.
  • Jurisprudence Examination
    All applicants for registration must successfully complete the CDHNS jurisprudence exam.
  • Interview: Applicants are required to meet with the registrar.
  • Completed application form available online

Additional requirements include evidence of:

  • Good Standing in any previous jurisdiction
  • Good Character
  • CPR Certification which includes both a classroom instruction and a practical component
  • English language proficiency necessary for safe and competent practice. The current English language requirements.
  • CDHA Membership/Liability Insurance
  • Canadian citizen or legally allowed to work in Canada 

Contact the CDHNS office: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for additional information on registration requirements.

Section 4 Dental Hygienists Regulations

Registration of dental hygienists – Mutual Recognition Agreement transfers

“A person who is licensed to practise as a dental hygienist under a non-restricted license issued before July 1, 2001, in a jurisdiction that is a signatory to the Mutual Recognition Agreement is eligible to be registered in the Register upon compliance with clause 3(c) and Section 5.”

Graduates of Non Accredited Programs

The basic qualification for licensure to practice dental hygiene in Nova Scotia is graduation from a dental hygiene program which has been accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada or the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation.
Graduates of non accredited dental hygiene programs who want to be registered to practice in Nova Scotia will be required to meet all the requirements for registration and meet any additional requirements approved by the Council. This can include acquiring a Certificate of Clinical Competency as defined by the Council.


The NDHCB examination tests whether an applicant possesses the necessary knowledge, skills, attitude and judgment required for entry-level practice. The NDHCB Candidate Guide provides information on the exam objectives, eligibility criteria, application procedures, development process, format, content, security measures, scoring and exam review application process. The Candidate Guide is available on the NDHCB website at
The examination is held in May and again in September and January (depending on applicants) at Dalhousie University, Halifax and at a variety of other sites across Canada. A list of examination sites and the deadlines for application to write the examination are posted on the NDHCB website.
All applicants for registration with the College must provide evidence of successful completion of the NDHCB examination.


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