Dental hygienists in Alberta are trying to make the best of a bad economy.
Hygienists in the Canadian province have opened up their own businesses, enabling patients to get dental services for a fraction of the cost of a visit to the dentist. These hygienists are legally able to do this because of a law that passed in Alberta in 2006. The Alberta Health Professions Act makes it possible for hygienists to open a business and provide basic treatments and services at lower costs than dentists.
Tracey Cote, the president of the Association of Private Practice Dental Hygienists of Alberta, claims that the hygienist offices are ideal for families looking to save money. These hygienists offer cleaning treatments and dental x-rays.
While some hygienists have set up offices, others are utilizing mobile services. This opens opportunities for people who would have to travel long distances to see a dentist to see a hygienist instead. Other hygienists are making visits to healthcare units and hospitals.
Still, the hygienists’ offices and mobile services can’t replace much of the work that dentists do. For complex procedures and dental surgeries, the hygienists can’t perform the procedures.
For now, though, the work of the hygienists will enable many Alberta residents to spend money on other things.