Why Choose an RDHAP

Exceptional teeth cleaning at your home or on-site at your nursing facility serving the Bay Area.

Why choose an on-site Hygienist (RDHAP)

What is an RDHAP? In order to practice in settings outside a traditional dental office, a registered dental hygienist (RDH) can pursue specialized training to obtain a specialized license that certifies them as a Registered Dental Hygienist in Alternative Practice (RDHAP). These alternative settings may include schools, skilled nursing facilities, hospitals, private homes, or their own RDHAP offices.

Choose comfortable, convenient, and customized dental hygiene care:

  1. Increases access to dental care: a model of care delivery that is responsive to patients as well as personal and professional satisfying

  2. Professional preventive care that patients would receive in a dental office, but enables a dental hygienist to deliver services at a location more convenient for the patient

  3. RDHAP is skilled to treat the elderly, disabled, and children bridging the gap for patients unable to get to a dentist

  4. RDHAP is skilled in behavioral management techniques for dental fear, memory loss, genetic disorders, etc.

  5. Reaching out to individuals and communities who need care but can not get to a dental office

  6. Creating new consumer choices for preventive treatments and services

  7. Providing services in settings and at times that are convenient for patients

  8. Decreasing the fear of dental treatment in people who are not used to having their dental care needs addressed, through a gradual introduction to dental procedures

  9. Providing referrals for dental care for patients needing restorative treatment

  10. Developing collaborative practice models with dental, medical, and nursing professionals in a variety of settings

  11. Developing data collection systems to track patient outcomes with the goal of showing how dental hygiene care can lead to improvements in oral health and overall health

  12. Educating individuals, families, caregivers, and health providers on the basics of oral health and dental hygiene, and oral health’s connection to overall health and wellbeing.

History of RDH & RDHAP Timeline:

1914 first graduating class of “Dental Nurses”

1917 first licensed Dental Hygienist

1923 American Dental Hygiene Association (ADHA)Formed

1940 RDH had a label

1950 Ultrasonic Scaler

1988 PPE mandatory by OSHA

1990 WA allowed unsupervised care and other states continued

1990’s ADHA allowed local anesthesia numbing

1998 RDHAP new dental health profession

1980-2003 RDHAP process of development

2002-2004 RDHAP licensing

Patient population

The patient population of RDHAPs includes traditionally underserved people, including but not limited to;

  1. Homebound

  2. Institutionalized elderly

  3. Migrant farmworkers and their families

  4. Pregnant women on Denti-Cal

  5. Rural school children

  6. Developmentally disabled children and adults

  7. Wards of locked state institutions

  8. Low income rural and urban families

The number and diversity of their patients are emblematic of how many people are unable to access traditional dental services.


  1. Video about RDHAP https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CArDlG4LXjA

  2. What is an RDHAP https://www.rdhapconnect.com/about.html

  3. CDA supports RDHAP https://www.cda.org/Home/News-and-Events/Newsroom/Article-Details/rdhaps-a-bridge-between-the-patient-and-the-dentist

  4. Innovation of RDHAP https://www.rdhmag.com/career-profession/article/16405400/the-innovation-of-the-rdhap

  5. CA Dental Hygiene Association (CDHA) https://www.dhbc.ca.gov/consumers/duties_rdhap.shtml

  6. Alternative Practice Dental Hygiene in CA Study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3325901/

  7. Legislation supporting RDHAP https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=BPC&division=2.&chapter=4.&article=9.

RDHAP UCSF Access Report https://healthforce.ucsf.edu/sites/healthforce.ucsf.edu/files/publication-pdf/CPAC_RDHAP_Access_Report_508_Final.pdf