Network of Healthcare Hygienists (NNHH) is a 501c (3) group of registered dental hygienists (RDH) that reside in one of the 50 United States and have a desire to see oral health prevention formally integrated into medical systems. Organized in 2018 as a closed Facebook group, we secured tax-exempt status and are in phase one of our development. As a group, we believe our nation’s oral systemic health is suffering due to the current separation of dentistry and medicine. By integrating oral health promotion and prevention programs into healthcare systems, and utilizing RDH’s to create and oversee the systems and processes, we hope to be the bridge between the medical and dental divide.
We are passionate, intelligent, college educated healthcare providers who know as much about preventing oral disease as dentists do. We have a growing number of male hygienists just like in nursing. We are licensed by our state dental boards and required to participate in continuing education just like any healthcare professional. Most of us have a bachelor degree or higher. We enjoy educating our patients, communities, and other medical professionals on the oral systemic link. We've known about it for decades! Our truest desire is to help our patients PREVENT disease through their own knowledge and empowerment.
We educate, coordinate, prevent, and refer.
We are the Primary Care Providers of dentistry, and we believe we can help healthcare systems save money and improve outcomes.
The purpose of NNHH is not to separate RDHs from dentistry, but to better serve our patients by screening and educating them at their primary care appointments, and referring them for appropriate levels of dental care, either within the healthcare system, or outside of it. Physicians, mid-level providers, and nurses are uncomfortable looking in a patient's mouth for signs of disease. We do it all day long, and we are good at it. We know what to look for, and what to do when we see signs of disease. We are good educators, able to explain how periodontal disease and untreated decay is contributing to a patient's other disease states. Since each state has different rules and regulations as far as the treatment a licensed dental hygienist can provide, emphasis will be on prevention, education, and referrals. A healthcare hygienist will not provide treatment, but will work with clinicians who do. He or she will be a priceless asset to the collaborative care team in a patient centered home.
We can, and DO save lives!
Step 1 is to create and offer a foundational certification that will give hygienists the confidence needed to educate medical providers and administrators on the oral systemic link. We are proud to announce that certification will be live January 2021! Learn more by clicking below.