Competition Bureau Canada

Competition Bureau Canada
Industry Canada

Industry Canada

October 15, 2007 16:19 ET

Competition Bureau Welcomes Greater Competition in Dental Hygiene Services

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 15, 2007) - Two hundred and fifty Ontario dental hygienists today became the first in Ontario authorised to practice independently from dentists, a move the Competition Bureau expects will lead to greater competition in the oral healthcare industry and provide Ontario consumers with greater choice and lower prices.

This is the first time that dental hygienists will be able to practice their profession truly independently in Ontario. Previously, even dental hygienists who owned their own businesses could not practice without an order from a dentist.

"We are very pleased to see this development," said Richard Taylor, Deputy Commissioner of Competition. "Many professional services are subject to rules and regulations that have emerged over time, often to protect consumers and ensure service delivery standards. The question is whether these rules and regulations are still relevant, and whether we could get similar results with less cost to competition."

Self-regulated professions are a priority area for the Bureau, which expects to release results of a study into several self-regulated professions later this year.

The Competition Bureau encourages governments and regulators to critically examine restrictions on professions and to consider legislative initiatives from a competition-based perspective.

On January 18, 2007, the Commissioner of Competition sent a letter to dentistry and dental hygiene bodies outlining her support of the proposed changes to the Ontario legislation.

The Bureau has been actively monitoring developments in the market for oral hygiene services in recent years and has also sent letters to the governments of Alberta, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick when they were considering legislative reform. In 2006, the government of Alberta passed new legislation reflecting advice offered by the Commissioner. It is hoped that reform in other jurisdictions will also seek to eliminate or minimize impediments to competition.

The Competition Bureau is an independent law enforcement agency. We contribute to the prosperity of Canadians by protecting and promoting competitive markets and enabling informed consumer choice.

Contact Information

  • Marilyne Nahum
    Communications Advisor
    External Relations and Public Affairs Branch
    Competition Bureau
    Information Centre
    Toll free: 1-800-348-5358
    TDD (hearing impaired): 1-800-642-3844