A logo for the minnesota dental team.
Logo designed by Normandale Community College; image used with permission


Advancing the role of the dental hygienist to expand the reach of oral health care to vulnerable, underserved, and rural populations.

This website has been made possible through financial support and guidance from the following:

  • Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the US Department of Health and Human services grant funding for the Normandale Community College “Innovative Pathways to Advanced Practice for Dental Hygienists: Meeting the Needs of Minnesota's Underserved Population. (2015)
  • Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation
  • Minnesota Community Foundation
  • 3M Foundation funding for Minnesota Oral Health Coalition website enhancement

Minnesota 21st Century Dental Team Video (3:00)

Download HERE

A woman in front of a group of people.

Collaborative Dental Hygiene Practice: What is it?

Everyone deserves to have a “dental home.” A “dental home” need not be a four walls/bricks and mortar building.

Collaborative dental hygiene practice (CDHP) in community settings (Minnesota Statutes 150A.10, Subd. 1a) authorizes Minnesota licensed dental hygienists to practice within a community-focused model resulting in more people with access to preventive services and in finding a dental home. Dental hygienists can effectively provide "coordinated care" to under-resourced populations in non-traditional health care settings.

  • The CDHP workforce model was authorized by the Minnesota Legislature in 2001.
  • Services may be performed by the dental hygienist without the presence of a dentist and without a prior exam of the patient by a dentist.

The initiative was supported with grant funds from Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation; Minnesota Department of Health; Minnesota Community Foundation. Normandale Community College paved the way following introduction of Collaborative Dental Hygiene Practice (CDHP) in Community Settings (2001).

Signing on as a Collaborative Practice Dentist: Tangible and Intangible Benefits

In addition to increasing access to dental care, entering into a collaborative agreement provides an opportunity to innovate with other dental professionals to create a more sustainable dental delivery system. With collaborative dental hygiene practice models, dental professionals can meet patients where they're at - whether it's in a school, a nursing home, a memory care facility, hospital, etc. As a result, more people will get the care they need. CDHP allows a dentist and dental team to provide services to the community and extend the reach of their work. The tangible benefits to entering into a collaborative agreement will vary depending on organizational structure but could include increased revenue for the dental practice if it is structured that way. The intangible benefits may include increased job satisfaction, brand awareness, and customer/patient loyalty. Dental practices that engage in CDHP with their existing staff could also see intangible benefits in increased employee morale and retention. Utilizing collaborative practice provides a unique opportunity for dental teams to come together with a common purpose and passion to create innovative paths inside dentistry.

Forging Change as a Collaborative Practice Dental Hygienist Eva Romero, Whittier Clinic and Hennepin Healthcare


Minnesota Statutes (Laws), Rules and Regulations

2022 Minnesota Statutes
Minnesota Statutes 150A.10, subd. 1a (law) that authorizes Collaborative Dental Hygiene Practice in Community Settings and describes the community settings in which collaborative practice dental hygienists may provide care.



Minnesota Administrative Rules

Minnesota Administrative Rules 3100.8700 lists/describes dental hygiene scope of practice/procedures that may be provided by a collaborative practice dental hygienist under general supervision and as outlined in a written collaborative agreement.

Note: Chapter 3100 is a lengthy document. Click the link to download and access Section 3100.8700 pertaining
to dental hygienists.


A Positive Outcome Through Collective Impact

A timeline of the various years that have occurred in this field.
A timeline of the various years that have occurred in this field.

                                                          Click HERE to load the CDHP in Community Settings PowerPoint

Key Points Concerning Collaborative Dental Hygiene Practice/Collaborative Agreements

  • Collaborative Dental Hygiene Practice (CDHP) was introduced for community-based, not traditional, dental/dental hygiene practice.
  • It is not appropriate, nor necessary, to develop or register a written collaborative agreement in a traditional dental practice setting for staff to expose radiographs or to “see a new patient first”. In doing so, data become skewed regarding community impact of this innovative workforce model.
  • Minnesota does not require additional education or a designated credential, e.g., CPDH, to be employed or engaged in Collaborative Dental Hygiene Practice (CDHP).
  • Although the presence of a dentist or a prior exam of the patient by a dentist is not required, Minnesota Statutes 150A.10, Subd. 1a does not authorize independent dental hygiene practice.

Creating Your Collaborative Agreement “How-To” Tutorial (Voice-over PowerPoint; 17 minutes)

Deborah Jacobi, RDH MA


NOTE: this video makes reference to the Normandale Community College Collaborative Dental Hygiene Practice (CDHP) Toolkit. Please note that as of 2023, the original toolkit is no longer available; Resources and materials have been moved to this Minnesota Oral Health Coalition CDHP Toolkit site. 

Download HERE


  • The template contains sections that are required per Minnesota Statutes and sections that are recommended as “best practices”.
  • The template was reviewed by the Minnesota Board of Dentistry, Minnesota Dental Hygienists'
    Association and Minnesota Dental Association
Two women sitting at a table smiling for the camera.

How to Register a Collaborative Agreement with the Minnesota Board of Dentistry


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(Five videos; 50 minutes total).

Continuing Dental Education (CE):
The Minnesota Board of Dentistry has approved two fundamental credits for participation in the Coffee Talk series. To obtain (no-cost) CE credit:

  • Print out the objectives/presenter biographies page
  • Print out and answer the questions related to each video (45 -60 minutes, total). An answer key is provided with each set of questions.
  • A printout of the objectives and completed questions will serve as documentation for your professional portfolio.
A white and green coffee mug with the words collaborative dental hygiene practice coffee talks.

Closed Captioning (CC) is available within each video.

Coffee Talk Objectives/Presenter Biographies for CE Credit Download HERE


Three women standing in a room with a camera.

Photo used with permission; Normandale Community College
L to R: Jeanne Anderson, Debra Sidd, Clare Larkin

Coffee Talk 1: State of the Union (8:24)

Coffee Talk 1 - Post test  Download HERE


Coffee Talk 2: Unraveling the Mysteries - Part I (9:37)

Coffee Talk 2 - Post test  Download HERE


Coffee Talk 3: Unraveling the Mysteries - Part II (11:14)

Coffee Talk 3 - Post test  Download HERE


Coffee Talk 4: Good News and Addressing Challenges (10:47)

Coffee Talk 4 - Post test  Download HERE


Coffee Talk 5: Looking to the Future (11:18)

Coffee Talk 5 - Post test  Download HERE

Assessing the State of Collaborative Dental Hygiene Practice in Minnesota Report of the Survey of Licensed Dental Hygienists. July 2020

The report was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award to Normandale Community College.

Particularly helpful to new dental hygiene graduates/faculty/staff and licensed dental hygienists/ dentists who are considering this collaborative model of care!  

This report is a detailed evaluation plan based on a study originally done in 2003 regarding collaborative dental hygiene practice—just two years after enactment of the law authorizing dental hygiene practice in non-traditional dental settings. The report also details the findings from a statewide survey of licensed dental hygienists in 2019. Read this report to better understand how collaborative dental hygiene practice (CDHP) is being utilized in Minnesota and what dental hygienists in the field had to say sixteen years after the original survey.

                                            Collaborative Practice Dental Hygienists in Action

Licensed dental hygienists participating in
Minnesota's first

"Basic Screening Survey Calibration Training"


Creating a Dentist-Dental Hygienist Collaborative Relationship
Contributed by: Let’s Smile, Inc.   View HERE


Minnesota’s Dual-Licensed Dental Hygienist/Dental Therapist Model;
A Dental Therapist in Long Term Care: Heather Luebben’s Story (2:40)
Apple Tree Dental    View HERE


Collaborative Dental Hygiene Practice
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

This document contains a compilation of valuable questions posed since 2001
pertaining to collaborative dental hygiene practice (CDHP).

Download HERE

Financial Side of Collaborative Dental Hygiene Practice

As with any new endeavor, a strong financial/business plan must be explored/created to assure sustainability into the future. Decisions must be made whether to seek grants and/or funding from charitable foundations, to learn what is involved with billing for services provided to Minnesota Public Health Program enrollees, or whether you need to connect with managed care organizations. It is likely that some of your personal capital will be part of the financial equation as you enter into a non-traditional endeavor. The following two presentations will be a great resource for you.

Starting a Non-Profit: 101   Nancy Franke Wilson; Minnesota Oral Health Coalition;  (29.03)


Grant Basics: 101  Nancy Franke Wilson; Minnesota Oral Health Coalition; (1:02:18)

Billing and reimbursement for services rendered by a collaborative practice dental hygienist when providing services to Minnesota Health Care Program (Medicaid or MinnesotaCare) enrollees?

A logo of the department of human services.

Collaborative Practice Dental Hygienists

Revised: February 18, 2020


Collaborative practice dental hygienists must be employed or retained by one of the following Minnesota Health Care Programs (MHCP)-enrolled groups:

  • Health care facility
  • Program (such as Head Start)
  • Nonprofit organization

Individual collaborative practice dental hygienists are not eligible for direct MHCP reimbursement.

Individual collaborative practice dental hygienists must enroll with a group affiliation to receive reimbursement at the group level for all dental hygiene services rendered to MHCP enrollees. As part of this process, MHCP requires individual National Provider Identifiers (NPIs) and affiliation with one or more of these enrolled group providers.

  • Individual dental hygienists must indicate their group affiliations on their applications.
  • Enrolled groups must add their enrolled collaborative practice dental hygienists to their provider file using the Organization MHCP Provider Profile Change Form (DHS-3535A) (PDF).
  • Groups not yet enrolled must include individual group members, including collaborative practice dental hygienists.

For collaborative practice dental hygienists providing services to enrollees in a managed care organization (MCO), contact the MCO* for enrollment requirements and coverage.

Covered Services

MHCP reimburses for covered dental services within the scope of practice of the collaborative practice dental hygienist as identified in Minnesota Statutes, 150A.10, subdivision 1a.


Bill all services completed in a collaborative practice capacity using the following:

  • 837D format
  • Individual collaborative practice dental hygienist NPI as the rendering provider
  • Appropriate health care facility program (such as Head Start), or nonprofit NPI as the pay-to provider (provider who receives the payment)

Additional Resources

Minnesota Statutes, 150A.10, subdivision 1a (collaborative practice authorization for dental hygienists in community settings)

*MCO contacts for MHCP providers

Minnesota Health Care Programs (MHCP) providers can contact the managed care organizations (MCOs) using the phone and fax numbers listed for each MCO. Refer members to health plan member services phone numbers.


Community Collaborative Practice Opportunities

School-based Oral Health Care

Oral Health Summit I - Smiles@School: Inter-Connecting Children's Oral Health and Learning (8/4/16)  


A boy with his back turned to the camera.
New Project (71)
A cartoon of two people talking to each other.

School-Based Dental Sealant Programs: Recommendations Children’s Dental Health Project; April 11, 2027

School-Based Dental Sealant Programs: Second Edition

National Maternal & Child Oral Health Resource Center

A series of modules designed to ensure that school-based dental sealant program staff have a thorough understanding of the history, operations, and underlying principles of this care delivery model.

Seal America: The Prevention Invention

National Maternal & Child Oral Health Resource Center

A stepwise approach for planning and implementing school-based dental sealant programs.



Head Start Dental Hygienist Liaison Project

A Guide to the Periodicity Schedule and Oral Exam




Special Care Dentistry/Special Populations

A woman holding two toothbrushes and an orange.

Photo credit: Special Olympics:
How to Dental Videos; Adapt a Toothbrush

Special Care: An Oral Health Professional’s Guide to
Serving Children with Special Health Care Needs.
Second Edition

Series of five modules    View HERE


Oral Health Education in the Classroom

Photo used with permission: Let’s Smile, Inc.,  Owatonna MN

Note: Although oral health education is an integral part of the care provided by collaborative practice dental hygienists, a collaborative agreement is not required to provide oral health education in schools, community events or public health settings.

A person is holding a toothbrush in their mouth.
A person is holding a toothbrush in their mouth.




Older Adult/Geriatric/Long-Term Care

Growing Old with a Smile: Oral Health for Older Adults in Long-term Care Video Series
Hosted by Minnesota Dental Association website





Community Clinic/Federally Qualified Health Care Center/Non-profit Organization


Photo credit: Childrens’ Dental Services, Minneapolis MN

Dental Equipment/Delivery Options

Portable Equipment Delivery: Elementary School

Mobile Equipment Delivery to Facilities/Schools/Community Sites

Two men unloading a truck with furniture on the back.

Photo used with permission: Apple Tree Dental, Mounds View MN

Stationary Dental Clinic: Long-Term Care Facility


Tele-dentistry has been implemented and expanded to help reduce patients’ barriers to care; improve program and dental team efficiency; respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“In a traditional dental office visit, a dental hygienist, therapist or assistant typically collects and documents the patient’s oral and overall health status for interpretation by a dentist or advanced dental therapist. This is very similar for tele-dentistry, however patient information captured by the on-site dental team is reviewed by the remote dentist in either synchronous (real-time) or asynchronous (store and forward) modality.”
Source: Apple Tree Dental: Tele-dentistry from 2002 to 2020. ASTDD Descriptive Activity Report


Tele-Dentistry: Is it Right For Our Office Today and In The Future?
Angela Hastings, DMD     View HERE


Resources, Publications, Reports

Advancing Dental Hygiene Education: What does research tell
us about the
future of dental hygiene?

“Minnesota has a reputation for developing and implementing innovative and creative ways
to meet the demands of a prepared and competent dental workforce.”

Colleen M. Brickle, RDH EdD
Journal of Dental Hygiene; October 2018


The Journey to Opportunity
Dental hygienists who embrace change, reflect on their professional status and goals, and unite
with colleagues are poised for professional growth.

Debra J. Sidd, RDH, RF, MEd
Dimensions of Dental Hygiene; Apr 17, 2017



Minnesota State Oral Health Plan 2030


Collaborative Practice as a Strategy for Increasing Access to Oral Health Care in Minnesota
The Network for Public Health Law: Issue Brief