The lack of access to quality routine dental care has long been an issue for many Americans. To solve this problem, the California Legislation has created a special category and training of dental health professionals called Registered Dental Hygiene in Alternative Practice (RDHAP). The RDHAP provides specific preventive procedures to underserved population such as oral health screenings, periodontal cleanings and sealants. Alternative practice hygienists provide oral health care services to the homebound and persons with limited mobility at their place of residence, in their familiar environment.By using portable dental equipment the RDHAP delivers the ideal treatment in the patientís home. Feeling safe in their environment minimizes the patientís anxiety and stress, which could otherwise complicate or aggravate medical conditions. These procedures improve the patientís quality of life and health.Research is suggested that whole body health has a direct relationship with periodontal and oral health. The bacteria from periodontal disease can enter the blood stream and travel to major organs and begin new infections.
An RDHAP may only perform allowable services for a patient who presents a written prescription for dental hygiene. Prescriptions must be issued by a dentist, physician, or surgeon licensed to practice in this state who has performed a physical examination & a diagnosis of the patient prior to a prescription being provided. The prescription may be valid up to 15 months.