Advanced Diploma of Oral Health (Dental Hygiene)

National Code: 10926NAT
TAFE SA Code: AC00120


The Advanced Diploma of Oral Health (Dental Hygiene) is designed to provide learners with the skills and knowledge on graduation to apply to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) to work as a dental hygienist in both private and government sectors in accordance with the legislative provisions and contemporary dental hygiene practice and theory.

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24 months 

Full Time or Part Time equivalent

Locations & Applications

Campus / Location
Study Mode
Study Load

Course Admission Requirements

  • Satisfactory performance in a dental-based assessment


  • Certificate III or higher in Dental Assisting or
  • SACE Completion or equivalent
Find out more about Dental Entry Requirements.
If there are more applications for this course than places available, applicants will be ranked by Assessment score.

Please Read Before Applying

Entry Recommendations

  • Please read the course brochure before applying.
  • The 1 hour, online, dental-based assessment will cover the following aspects: Communication skills; Dental conditions and terminology; Head and neck anatomy; Dental charting; Knowledge about the Dental Board of Australia; Basic biology; General dental knowledge.
    The knowledge is aimed at a level that graduates from Certificate III and IV level Dental Assisting qualifications would have undertaken.
    These abilities will be assessed via short answer questions; multiple choice questions; case scenarios; and diagram labelling.
  • Unsuccessful applicants are informed when final offers have been made.
  • No individual feedback is provided on your written assessment score.

Attendance Requirements (subject to change)
This course is full time with classes 4 -5 days a week. You may study part time in the first year. Second year is full time only. If successful, you will attend a week of on-campus orientation.

Industry Conditions and Skills
Skills and attributes that will help you include working effectively with other health professionals, collecting, analysing and interpreting data; keeping a high level of professionalism, showing leadership and mentoring, showing professional and accountable work practices.

Additional Uniforms, Equipment and Costs

  • Tool kit, $2955.21
  • TAFE SA polo, shirt $33.00
  • lab coat, $53.00 and the
  • course textbook, $50.00 (approximate) optional.
  • National Police check and Working with Children check are required.

Vocational Placements
Students gain supervised clinical experience in the TAFE SA Dental Clinic, and in other specialist clinical areas throughout the course.

Mandatory Requirements

  • You must hold a current First Aid certificate before starting clinical sessions in the TAFE SA Dental Clinic.
    You must hold a current Dental Radiation Use License to operate an ionising radiation apparatus to complete this course.
    If you don't hold a current license, you will need to complete the Dental Radiography Skill Set to be eligible to apply for your license.
    National Police check and Working with Children check are required.
  • You must be eligible for unlimited registration as a student with the Dental Board of Australia under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009 before you can enrol.

Average cost per semester
Total Fees for the 24 month course
You may be eligible for government subsidised training.
Subsidised training may require applicants to complete a Core Skills Profile Assessment (CSPA).
Full Fee

Fees vary depending on subjects you enrol into. TAFE SA and their agents reserve the right to make any changes necessary. Fee updates will be available prior to offers being made.

  • Upfront Payment

    Each semester, fees can be paid online with VISA or Mastercard or at an Australia Post outlet.

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    VET Student Loan

    This is an interest-free personal loan from the Australian Government that provides eligible students access to capped funding to help pay for their studies.

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    Payment Plan

    If you have difficulty paying your fees upfront, you may be eligible for a payment plan.

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  • Employment Outcomes

    The design of the course enables graduates to practice in accordance with the Australian Dental Council (ADC) professional competencies of the new qualified Dental Hygienist, and the course is approved for delivery by the ADC.

    Note: Completion of a TAFE SA course does not guarantee an employment outcome. Formal requirements other than educational qualifications (eg licensing, professional registration), may apply to some occupations.

    Qualifications & Skills Covered

    Advanced Diploma of Oral Health (Dental Hygiene) (10926NAT)
    The course has a focus on oral health and the Dental Board of Australia (DBA) scope of practice of a dental hygienist to provide services for all ages in:

    • Assessment
    • Diagnosis
    • Treatment
    • Management
    • Education to prevent oral disease
    • Promotion of healthy oral behaviours This may include periodontal and gingival treatment, preventative services and other oral care.
      To complete the qualification you are required to complete all 34 core units consisting of 9 national units of competency and 25 enterprise units of competency.

    Note: Students who successfully complete only one or more units of competency but not the full qualification are eligible to receive a Statement of Attainment.

    of TAFE SA graduates are satisfied with the overall quality of training.
    of TAFE SA graduates would recommend their training.

    * 2023 NCVER Student Outcomes Survey findings
  • Core

    Name Nominal Hours
    Apply basic principles and practices of infection prevention and control 35
    Apply professional tooth whitening agents 25
    Apply rubber dam and fissure sealants 21
    Communicate effectively as a workplace leader 40
    Confirm oral health status 96
    Confirm physical health status 90
    Diagnose and manage dental hard tissue pathologies in the dental hygiene patient 21
    Diagnose and manage periodontal conditions 60
    Examine and assess a patient to devise a dental hygiene treatment plan 150
    Identify and interpret findings on a dental radiograph 40
    Implement a dental hygiene program for children and adolescents 25
    Manage pain and anxiety for dental hygiene treatment 21
    Manage pharmacotherapy in dental hygiene treatment 50
    Participate in workplace health and safety 20
    Perform a nutritional oral health assessment 30
    Perform orthodontic procedures 40
    Plan and manage dental hygiene care for patients with special needs 20
    Promote Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultural safety 25
    Provide clinical dental hygiene treatment 500
    Provide community based oral health interventions and oral health promotion 60
    Provide dental hygiene care to elderly patients 20
    Provide individual oral health education and counselling to patients 18
    Research and apply evidence to practice 65
    Research and apply personality and development theories 50
    Take a clinical photograph 50
    Take an impression and construct study models for dental hygiene patients 18
    Undertake and analyse diagnostic tests to determine oral health status 15
    Undertake temporary restorative therapy 24
    Use epidemiology and evidence-based research in dental hygiene practice 18
    Use fluoride and chemotherapeutic agents to manage and prevent dental disease 18
    Use knowledge of oral pathology and general medicine in dental hygiene practice 100
    Utilise dental instruments 50
    Work with diverse people 40
    Work within a dental practitioner framework 30
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