Advanced Diploma of Oral Health (Dental Hygiene)

Study Oral Health at TAFE South Australia

The Advanced Diploma of Oral Health (Dental Hygiene) is a qualification that will help progress your career as a dental hygienist by teaching you advanced techniques. You will learn about contemporary dental hygiene practice to develop your skills to work in the private or government sector.

Course content

The Advanced Diploma of Oral Health (Dental Hygiene) is aimed at students who are already working as a dental assistant, and provide you with the essential skills and experience that you will need to progress your career. 

Core modules include:

  • Apply oral medicine and pathology principles to dental hygiene treatment
  • Apply pharmocology principles to dental hygiene management
  • Apply professional tooth whitening agents
  • Examine and assess a patient to devise a dental hygiene treatment plan
  • Identify and interpret findings on a dental radiograph
  • Provide clinical dental hygiene treatment
  • Provide individual and community based dental health education and oral hygiene instructions
  • Scale teeth, debride root surfaces and stains from teeth

Work Placement

During your course you will also complete around 400 hours of practical work experience.  Your dental hygiene work placement is undertaken across the whole qualification with the larger part of the placement in the second year. TAFE SA organises this work placement for students. Work placements are unpaid, but will ensure that students graduate with enhanced practical skills training and real world experience in a clinical environment. The work placement includes:

  • Orthodontic visits to a public dental hospital where you will treat patients in various orthodontic procedures within the scope of the dental hygienist.
  • Visits to aged care facilities to carry out preventative oral hygiene procedures
  • Special needs visits to a public dental hospital to observe procedures for medically compromised patients.
  • TAFE SA Dental Clinic – where students provide patients with a range of procedures within the scope of the dental hygienist. The TAFE SA dental clinic is a 28 chair functioning dental clinic. All surgeries are self-contained, rather than relying on central assisting station, in order to replicate a typical workplace where the practitioner manages their own treatment environment.
  • Students also select 1 of 3 elective subjects and these placements equate to approximately 8 placement hours.
  • All work placements are undertaken with supervision and direction by a qualified health practitioner.

University Pathways

The Advanced Diploma of Oral Health (Dental Hygiene) at TAFE SA also provides a pathway to University with successful completion of this qualification counting as credit towards the Bachelor of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Adelaide.

Course details

Duration: 73 weeks (2 years)
Campus: Gilles Plains
Intake: January
Admission Requirements: Academic IELTS score of 7.0 Overall with a minimum of 7.0 in all bands & satisfactory completion of a Dental Assistant Qualification including Dental Radiography training.

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