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Dental Hygiene Jobs in Alberta

As with many health care professions, provincially and nationally, employment opportunities for registered dental hygienist positions seem to be cyclical—ranging from abundant employment opportunities one year to a scarcity of employment opportunities a few years later.

CRDHA does not control employment opportunities. The general global economic environment, the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) Internal Link Image and Chapter 7 of the Agreement on Internal Trade Internal Link Image affect employment opportunities in Alberta.

Under the NWPTA, British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan agree to reconcile or mutually recognize occupational standards so people can work in their occupation in all three provinces. Professional dental hygiene registration is still required in each province.

Recent amendments to Chapter 7 of the Agreement on Internal Trade mean that workers in regulated occupations can apply to be certified in the same occupation in another province or territory without having to undergo significant additional training, examination or assessment. Individuals are still required to apply to jurisdictional regulators for certification in their occupation.


Other factors that affect the availability of employment opportunities in Alberta include:

  • trends and events that affect overall employment (especially in the health care and social assistance industries)
  • locations in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)

Registered dental hygienists may improve their employment opportunities by applying to be on specific advanced practice rosters. These rosters indicate that the registered dental hygienists have the education and competencies to:

  • prescribe the medications used in dental hygiene practice
  • administer local anaesthetic by injection
  • prescribe and administer nitrous oxide/oxygen for conscious sedation
  • perform restorative procedures

Administrative and teaching positions generally require completion of graduate education at a Masters or PhD level.