Illinois Dental HYGIENISTS' Association

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PHDH Information


This webinar on YouTube is an overview about how to obtain the PHDH certification.

Public Health Dental Hygienist Training Orientation - Illinois


Revisions to the Illinois Dental Practice Act regarding the Public Health Dental Hygienist Definition and Training:

Definition of Public Health Dental Hygienist 

“Public health dental hygienist” means a hygienist who holds a valid license to practice in the State has 2 years of full-time clinical experience or an equivalent of 4,000 hours of clinical experience and has completed at least 42 clock hours of additional structured courses in dental education in advanced areas specific to public health dentistry.

“Public health setting” means a federally qualified health center; a federal. State, or local public health facility; Head Start; a special supplemental nutrition program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) facility; or a certified school-based health center of school-based oral health program.

“Public health supervision” means the supervision of a public health dental hygienist by a licensed dentist who has a written public health supervision agreement with that public health dental hygienist while working in a n approved facility or program that allows the public health dental hygienist to treat patients, without a dentist first examining the patient and being present in the facility during treatment, (1) who are eligible for Medicaid or (2) who are uninsured and whose household income is not greater than 200% of the federal poverty level.

Sec. 13.5. Training programs for public health dental hygienists.

  • (a)   With respect to the requirement that a public health dental hygienist have additional structured courses in dental education in advanced areas specific to public health dentistry, education in advanced areas specific to public health dentistry must include emergency procedures for medically compromised patients (5 hours), pharmacology (5 hours), medical recordkeeping procedures (4 hours), geriatric dentistry (5 hours), pediatric dentistry (5 hours), and pathology (5 hours) provided by:
  • (1)   An educational institution accredited by the Commission of Dental Accreditation, such as a dental school or dental hygiene program; or
  • (2)   A statewide dental association or dental hygiene association, approved by the Department to provide continuing education, that has developed and conducted training programs for expanded functions for dental assistants and hygienists.
  • (b)    Training programs for a public health dental hygienist must:
  • (1)   Include a minimum 29 hours of didactic study as described in subsection (a), which may be taken in an online structured format and in compliance with the continued learning education requirements of 68 Illinois Administrative Code 1220.440;
  • (2)   Require completing of 5 hours of didactic courses in the following topic areas:  special needs dentistry, teledentistry, nutritional needs of geriatric and low income patients, communication techniques with non-English speaking patients, cultural competency, and professional ethics;
  • (3)    Require completion of an 8 hour in-person classroom review that includes a comprehension exam on the subjects required in subsection (a) and submit certification of successful completion to the supervising dentist; and
  • (4)   Issue a certificate of completion of the training program requirement, which must be kept on file at the supervising dentist’s office and with the public health dental hygienist which will be made available to the Department upon request.
  • Sec. 13.10. Public health dental hygienist supervision agreement.  After completion of the requirements of Section 13.5, a public health dental hygienist may operate in a public health setting that meets the requirements of Section 18.1 with a dentist who is working in or has contracted with a local or State government agency or institution or who is providing services as part of a certified school-based program or school-based oral health program.

Section 99.  Effective date.  This Act takes effect upon becoming law.


 Midwinter PHDH Courses.xlsx

CMW PHDH courses.pdf

Hello  Future PHDH, November 21. 2019

Here's the link to the Chicago Dental Society Midwinter course catalog: 

I've attached two documents with courses separated by category and color coded.  Some of the courses could be included in two different categories.  I used the "subject" as described on the site.

Feel free to share this information with other interested dental hygienists.  If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email or call. 

As a follow up, if you decide to register for the Chicago Dental Society Midwinter courses.  Please pay the $55 as a Dental Hygienist - category I - the cost to join ISDS is $50 so the savings is only $5.  As you know, ISDS does not truly represent dental hygienists - only your professional association does that.

Here's another page with FUN events.

I hope this is helpful, 

More updates coming soon regarding the 8 hour “in person” review and exam.

Thank you for your consideration,

Laura Scully


Contact our PHDH Committee Chair, Laura Baus, at

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