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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Up to 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
If there are more applications for this course than places available, applicants will be ranked by Assessment score
Additional selection criteria applies to improve ranking. Please see important information below.
If you have a verified disability/medical condition and require additional support to demonstrate satisfactory reading, writing and numeracy skills please contact Student Services prior to applying to discuss your needs. To be eligible for support you must provide medical documentation to verify your disability/medical condition.

Average cost per semester
Total Fees for the 24 month course

This course is subsidised through the Government of South Australia's Subsidised Training initiative. The eligibility check below is an indication only and does not confirm your eligibility status. Eligibility verification will take place during the enrolment process and may include participation in a Language, Literacy and Numeracy pre-assessment. Concessions apply to Subsidised Training only.

Subsidised Training Eligibility
Full Fee

This course also has an incidentals cost of $2,500.00 for clinic jackets and a dental hygiene instrument kit.

Student Services Fee (SSF) applies. Full-time student $20. Part-time student $10.

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.

    • This course is highly competitive and applicants will be ranked on their written assessment score. TAFE SA will contact you with details about undertaking the written assessment.
    • Testing will be held on Friday 19 November and Friday 26 November 2021. Three sessions will be conducted each day. Details will be advised after you apply.
    • 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.
    • Applicants will be informed when final offers have been completed, and that no further offers will be made and they have not been successful. All unsuccessful applicants are encouraged to apply for the next intake.
    • No individual feedback is provided on your written assessment score.
    • This course provides evidence of addressing all licensing/regulatory requirements under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009; governing the practice of dental hygiene. Students must register with the Dental Board of Australia through the institution that they are enrolled in. Information on the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009 can be obtained from the Dental Board of Australia (www.dentalboard.gov.au).
    • Successful applicants are required to attend a full week of orientation activities on campus. Dates will be provided in your offer letter.
    • It is the responsibly of the individual student to maintain a current First Aid Certificate prior to commencing your clinical sessions in the TAFE SA Dental Clinic. Students must also hold a licence to operate an ionising radiation apparatus. Applicants who do not hold a current license will need to enrol in the relevant 3 units to gain the licence within the first year of studies.
    • Students wishing to access subsidised training are required to demonstrate satisfactory reading, writing and numeracy skills by undertaking the Core Skills Profile for Adults (CSPA).
    • Reading, writing and numeracy skills are assessed using the Core Skills Profile for Adults (CSPA). This assessment is used to determine whether you will be required to undertake additional support units alongside your qualification or undertake a pathway course before commencing your chosen qualification. If you receive an offer, more information will be provided at your enrolment session.
    • Qualifications are regularly reviewed to reflect current industry practices. The Advanced Diploma of Oral Health (Dental Hygiene) has gone through this process and is awaiting Government endorsement. A new qualification is expected to be implemented in 2022, therefore some students may be required to transition to the new qualification if they are unable to complete the current qualification within a specified timeframe
    • Prior to enrolment candidates will be advised that to undertake the course they must be eligible for unlimited registration as a student with the Dental Board of Australia under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009. Many health care facilities including SA Health, and Residential Aged Care, require candidates and other Health Care Workers to present the result of a National Police Check, criminal history check and evidence related to immune status for vaccine preventable diseases, blood borne virus infections, tuberculosis screening, and COVID -19 immunisation, prior to allowing clinical access to patients. Failure to comply with any of the above requirements is likely to result in being unable to undertake the clinical placements necessary for completion of this course.
  • 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 find jobs or continue studying.
    of TAFE SA graduates are satisfied with the overall quality of training.

    * 2020 NCVER Student Outcomes Survey findings
  • Core

    Name Nominal Hours
    Apply professional tooth whitening agents 25
    Apply rubber dam and fissure sealants 21
    Communicate effectively as a workplace leader 40
    Comply with infection prevention and control policies and procedures 25
    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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