Dental Health Programs
Public Health Dental Hygienist
A Public Health Dental Hygienist (PHDH) is a practicing Registered Dental Hygienist who is certified to perform dental hygiene procedures without immediate or direct supervision of a dentist. PHDHs are certified to perform procedures in public health settings including schools, longterm care facilities, clinics, mobile dental health vans, and others.
Each course is designated to prepare the Registered Dental Hygienist to meet the educational requiremements for infection control, risk and practice management, and management of medical emergencies in public health dental environments.
This program consists of three (3) five-week courses that educate dental hygienists with the knowledge and credentitals needed to submit a licensure application to become a PHDH.
- Registered Dental Hygienist with a valid license to practice in the state of Rhode Island.
- A minimum of three (3) years of full-time experience as a Registered Dental Hygienist, or;
- An equivalent of 4,500 hours of clinical experience.
- DHYG 2202: Management of Medical Emergencies for the Public Health Dental Hygienist - CRN: 13700
- DHYG 2203: Infection Control for the Public Health Dental Hygienist - CRN: 13784
- DHYG 2204: Risk and Practice Management for the Public Health Dental Hygienist - CRN: 23374
Each course awards one (1) college credit equaling fifteen (15) Continuing Education credits. Upon successful completion of all three courses, student can apply for PHDH licensure.
There is no corequisite for these courses and they may be taken out of sequence. While all three courses are required for PHDH licensure, each individual course provides a separate valuable continuing education learning opportunity.
Q: What is a Public Health Dental Hygienist?
A: New occupations are emerging across the country to extend the reach of oral healthcare providers and expand home and community-based access to service. The Public Health Dental Hygienist licensure expands the scope of practice of hygienists beyond the traditional office, into schools, nursing homes, senior centers, hospitals, and other sites in the community.
Q: Who is eligible to enroll in the Public Health Dental Hygienist program?
A: Registered Dental Hygienists who hold a valid license to practice in the State of Rhode Island can enroll in this program if they have fulfilled a minimum of three (3) years of full-time work or an equivalent of 4,500 hours of clinical experience.
Q: How do I enroll into the program?
A: Students interested in this program must first submit a New or Returning CCRI Student Application. Learn how to apply for free here through CCRI Admissions. Once accepted, students can enroll for courses through their MyCCRI account and searching through the Available Courses.
Q: What courses are required for the program?
A: There are three (3) five (5) week courses required for the program:
- DHYG 2202 - Management of Medical Emergencies for the Public Health Dental Hygienist
- DHYG 2203 - Infection Control for the Public Health Dental Hygienist
- DHYG 2204 - Risk and Practice Management for the Public Health Dental Hygienist
Q: What are the requirements for the program?
A: Each course is five (5) weeks that mostly consist of online course work, lectures, quizzes, discussions, etc. Each individual class also includes an in-person evening laboratory experience. Understanding online learning managements systems such as Sakai or Blackboard will be necessary. Should you need a refresher, please visit the CCRI Information Technology Blackboard Support page.
Q: Once licensed as a Public Health Dental Hygienist can I work outside of Rhode Island?
A: Rhode Island licensed Public Health Dental Hygienists can only work in the state of Rhode Island. Each state has their own set of rules and regulations for licensure.
Q: Is this program accredited?
A: In 2017, the Board of Dental Examiners established a Public Health Dental Hygienist license that can be obtained in addition to the dental hygiene license. In revision of the Rules and Regulations pertaining to Dental Hygienists, the board listed educational requirements that must be met to earn the additional credential at a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) institution of which CCRI holds the credential.