In the past, dental hygienists practiced exclusively in dentists’ offices or hospitals. Now, in New Brunswick, dental hygienists can be self-employed.

In northwestern New Brunswick, Annie St-Amand, owner of Hygiène dentaire mobile Aniso, is the first entrepreneur in her region to offer professional cleaning and whitening services. She operates from dedicated premises in Edmundston and Grand Falls, as well as at the customer’s home.

“Since the pandemic, I’ve noticed that access to dental care has become more complex,” she confides. “Some people may also have difficulty getting to the dentist.” That’s why she decided to facilitate access to dental care by going to her customers’ homes with everything you would find in a clinic.

Clients often develop a close bond with their dental hygienist, even a relationship of trust. Not everyone likes going to the dentist.

“Before I became self-employed, I found that the client would come to the office to see me specifically, whereas my professional relationship didn’t quite give me the control I needed at that level,” she says. “Now, by being independent, I can build up my own clientele, while developing partnerships with dentists.”

In New Brunswick, accessibility to dental care is a very sensitive topic. Annie St-Amand’s business speeds up dental follow-ups when direct assistance from the dentist is not required. She is also developing partnerships with hospitals for home services.

Otherwise, for families who cannot afford dental care, Annie offers free dental care every year through Gift from the Heart, a Canadian movement with volunteer dentists and dental hygienists. “With inflation and shortages in our rural communities, much more needs to be done,” she says.

Hygiène dentaire mobile Aniso is having a direct positive impact on the region of northwestern New Brunswick.

Annie St-Amand is one of those entrepreneurs who believes in social development through local action. CBDC Madawaska should certainly be brought into the equation. “I was able to access a coaching service to develop my social media and build my client base,” she says. “I’m sure my business will need more support as I move forward.”

Entrepreneurship is becoming more modern and not quite the same as it used to be. “As a mother of two young children, I’m very much focused on balancing work and family. Being self-employed allows me to be flexible in my professional choices,” she says. “Eventually, I’d like to partner up with another professional.”

In conversation with Annie St-Amand, it soon becomes clear that collaboration is more than just wishful thinking: “I’d like to develop more partnerships with other healthcare professionals for the well-being of my clients, and to make care even more accessible to people in my region. These days, few people can still work in silos. The future of our rural communities lies in helping each other.”

“Now, by being independent, I can build my own clientele, while developing partnerships with dentists.” 


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