By JoAnn Gurenlian, RDH, MS, PhD, AAFAAOM, FADHA
ADHA Director, Education and Research
July 9, 2023

In 2023, the ADHA implemented the Professional Fellows Program, offering a distinction to honor members’ ongoing commitment to their education, to the practice of dental hygiene, and to maintaining their stellar reputation in the areas of ethics, professional responsibility and professional standards. You may be wondering how to list your newest credential? Presenting credentials in a uniform way increases the public’s awareness of the significance and value of the honors achieved. There are many ways to present credentials, and various professions offer guidance on how to offer the credentials you have worked so hard to earn.

Listing Credentials

There is no “one way” or “right way” for listing credentials.

During the 2021 House of Delegates Meeting a recommendation was put forth, that ADHA develop a guidelines for displaying dental hygienist credentials. Staff investigated at length what similar associations were recommending regarding displaying credentials and created the following recommendation for credential sequence by category.

First designation: dental hygienist by licensure RDH, LDH
Second designation: additional highest earned dental hygiene-related degree BS/BSDH, MS/MSDH*
Third designation: highest other earned academic degrees AuD, BA, BS, MPH, MA, MBA, RN, MEd, EdD, PhD, (and others as identified)
Fourth designation: significant awards and honors, i.e., Fellowships AFAAOM, FSCDH, FADHA
Fifth designation: other valid certifications from recognized accredited programs that acknowledge additional skills Myofunctional Therapy (OMT), etc.

*Note: Not all dental hygiene degrees are BSDH or MSDH; many are BS/MS with a specialization in dental hygiene.

Examples of credential presentations:

Samantha Jones, RDH

Samantha Jones, RDH, BSDH

Samantha Jones, RDH, BS, MBA

Samantha Jones, RDH, FADHA

Samantha Jones, RDH, MS, MPH, FADHA

Samantha Jones, RDH, MS, FSCDH, FADHA, OMT