What is a RDHAP
In 1998 the California Legislature created a new license category of Oral Health Professionals, the Registered Dental Hygienist in Alternative Practice, abbreviated as RDHAP. The purpose of this new license category was to deliver dental hygiene care and preventive services to special populations in alternative settings where people live or frequent, rather than the traditional dental office or clinic.
An RDHAP may be able to meet many of the needs of residents of residential care facilities. More importantly, the RDHAP can help develop critical prevention strategies. Preventing or minimizing oral problems can be achievable for many residents, saving staff time, reducing pain, suffering, and loss of self esteem.
The RDAHP can be a critical bridge between residential facility staff and dental office providers. They are able to:
Participate in oral health planning
Provide simple and deep teeth cleaning, therapies for dry mouth, and strategies to prevent dental disease
Customize staff in-service programs