What is a Public Health Dental Team?

The Dental Team here at the Perth District Health Unit is made up of a Dental Consultant, three Dental Hygienists and two Dental Assistant, Educators. The Dental Team conducts oral health screening for children and provides preventive care, such as dental sealants, cleaning and fluoride applications. The Dental Team also identifies children with urgent dental care to a dental provider and administers funding under the Children in Need of Treatment and the Healthy Smiles Ontario programs.

What do you need to become a Public Health Dental Consultant?

You need a minimum of two years undergraduate studies, two years dental school to receive a degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery, then two years of dental public health studies for masters of science degree. Passing the National Dental Specialty examinations is required before registering with the Royal College of Dental Surgeons. Licensed dentists are regulated by the Royal College of Dental Surgeons.

What do you need to become a Public Health Dental Hygienist?

You need a three year Ontario College diploma at an accredited college and be licensed and regulated under the College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario. Dental Hygienists practice according to the College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario Code of Ethics, College Standards of Practice, Dental Hygiene Act 1991 and Regulated Health Professions Act 1991.

What do you need to become a Public Health Dental Assistant, Educator?

You need a one year college certificate Dental Assisting Program, pass the National Dental Assisting Examining Board and be a member of the Ontario Dental Assistants Association.

In what program areas does the Public Health Dental Team work?

The Dental Team primarily works in the area of child health (infant to 17 years) but provides consultation to many other program areas within the Health Unit.

What is the best part about being a part of the Perth District Health Unit Dental Team?

You have the opportunity to work with many diverse groups of people as well as be a member of a multi-disciplinary team.

What is the most challenging part about being a part of the Perth District Health Unit Dental Team?

The most challenging part of working on a public health dental team is on the occasions when you meet people who are having trouble affording dental care but may not qualify for one of our programs. We wish we could help everybody.

Thinking about becoming a part of a public health dental team?

If you enjoy working with families, children and youth and want to encourage healthy lifestyle choices to prevent oral problems and improve health, then being a part of a public health dental team may be for you.