Advanced Diploma of Oral Health (Dental Hygiene)

CRICOS Code: 094560A
National Code: 10286NAT


Dental Hygienists play an important role in oral health by providing individualised treatment to the community, aimed at preventing oral diseases and helping to improve general health and wellbeing. Dental hygienists perform preventative, educational and therapeutic interventions to manage and treat dental decay and gum diseases. Dental hygienists also play a key role in the prevention of diseases through individualised oral hygiene instruction, dietary counselling and oral health promotion.

Duration (incl. holidays)
Teaching Duration
Example Career Profile
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104 weeks
80 weeks
Dental Workers/ Dental Assistants Dental Workers/ Dental Assistants

In response to COVID-19, TAFE SA has had to make some changes to how courses are delivered. If any changes are made to the delivery or completion date of your course, TAFE SA will communicate with you directly.

Campus / Location
Study Mode
Contact Hours
Study Load

Course Admission Requirements
(for International Applications)

  • Satisfactory completion of Year 12 or overseas equivalent .
  • Academic IELTS score of 7.0 Overall with a minimum of 7.0 in all bands, the Occupational English Test – A's and/or B's in all areas of assessment, English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Advanced Credit grade or equivalent.
  • Successful completion of the TAFE SA Dental Hygiene Admission Test. To be successful in this test applicants would need a Certificate III in Dental Assisting or recent dental experience. The test is only conducted between Adelaide office hours of 9.00am-5.00pm Monday-Friday in August/September of each year for overseas based candidates (via Skype for Business) or November of each year for onshore candidates. Please contact the TAFE SA International Unit for dates. A $A300 test administration fee applies. See below course notes section for further details.

Work Placement Duration:   441 hours

Prior to work placement, international students will be required to apply for and successfully receive a National Police Clearance and the following South Australian Department of Human Services Screenings: working with children, disability, aged and vulnerable persons. Students will also need to show evidence for up to 7 Vaccinations or proven history of immunity and have a current First Aid Certificate. More details will be made available after commencement.

Course Notes

  • The Advanced Diploma of Oral Health ( Dental Hygiene) qualification satisfies the academic requirements to be eligible to apply for registration through AHPRA. Graduates seeking registration will also be required to meet all the other requirements for registration, such as English language skills (ie IELTS Test Results). For more specific information regarding these can be sourced at
  • Students with an overseas qualification in Dentistry (5 year duration)/Dental Therapy (2 year duration)/Dental Hygiene plus additional Dental Radiography training, and 5 years of practise experience, should apply for the 2 year qualification. Once enrolled overseas trained students can apply for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL application fees apply) and be assessed accordingly. To apply for RPL applicants should provide details of their previously completed qualification which includes the detailed content of the subjects they have undertaken. Students who are granted RPL will be refunded for the units of competency they successfully attain, in line with the TAFE SA relevant policy. It should be noted that due to the delivery requirements of the qualification, following RPL being granted, the qualification may still take 2 years to complete. The qualification has a quota for overseas trained professionals.
  • All students are required to undertake the Dental Hygiene Admission Test at the cost of A$300. A Dental Assisting qualification and dental radiography knowledge will assist with meeting the knowledge required in the Dental Hygiene Admission Test. The test 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


These course fees are for international students only.

Tuition Fees
Incidental Fees*
Semester 1
AUD $15475
AUD $4500*
Semester 2
AUD $15475
Semester 3
AUD $15475
Semester 4
AUD $15475
Fee Totals
AUD $61900
AUD $4500*
Total Course Cost
AUD $66400

* International students will be required to pay for their own screenings, checks, vaccinations, First Aid Certificate, TAFE SA Dental Hygiene Admission Test (A$300), Dental Hygiene Instrument Kits, textbooks, site uniforms and any required shoes at approximately $A4000-$A4500.

Note: TAFE SA course fees are currently under review. Current fees published are for 2020 and will be updated shortly. TAFE SA does not commit to any fees shown. Charges vary between courses and subjects and are based on a rate per hour. TAFE SA and their agents reserve the right to make any changes necessary.

Overseas Students Health Cover

All overseas students are required to have Overseas Students Health Cover (OSHC) insurance for the entire duration of the course. The health cover rate will vary depending on the personal circumstances and duration of stay in Australia. Read more about Overseas Students Health Cover.

  • Employment Outcomes

    On successful completion of the course graduates will have completed the education and training in contemporary dental hygiene practice, enabling them to work in both private and government sectors in accordance with the legislative provisions.

    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) (10286NAT)
    This course will help progress your career as a dental hygienist by teaching you advanced techniques in contemporary dental hygiene practice. To complete the qualification you are required to complete all 11 National units of competency and 25 enterprise units of competency.

    of TAFE SA graduates find jobs or continue studying.
    of TAFE SA graduates are satisfied with the overall quality of training.

    * 2019 NCVER Student Outcomes Survey findings
  • Core

    Name Nominal Hours
    Administer pain control for dental treatment 15
    Analyse and apply epidemiology in dental and health practice 15
    Apply oral medicine and pathology principles to dental hygiene treatment 100
    Apply pharmacology principles to dental hygiene management 100
    Apply professional tooth whitening agents 25
    Apply rubber dam and fissure sealants 15
    Comply with infection prevention and control policies and procedures 25
    Confirm physical health status 90
    Contribute to working with the community to identify health needs 60
    Diagnose and manage dental caries and other hard tissue pathologies in the patient 15
    Diagnose and manage periodontal conditions 40
    Establish and manage client relationships 35
    Evaluate a population health project 40
    Examine and assess a patient to devise a dental hygiene treatment plan 150
    Identify and interpret findings on a dental radiograph 25
    Implement a dental hygiene program for children and adolescents 25
    Investigate and assess oral health status 80
    Participate in workplace health and safety 20
    Perform a nutritional oral health assessment 30
    Perform prescribed orthodontic procedures 40
    Place temporary restorations, polish restorations and remove overhanging margins 24
    Plan a population health project 50
    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 400
    Provide dental hygiene care to elderly patients 20
    Provide individual and community based dental health education and oral hygiene instructions 30
    Research and apply evidence to practice 65
    Research and apply personality and development theories 50
    Scale teeth, debride root surfaces and stains from teeth 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
    Use chemotherapeutic agents to manage and prevent dental disease 15
    Work legally and ethically 55
    Work with diverse people 40
  • Studying at TAFE SA is one of the easiest pathways towards a University Degree. Credit Transfer is the formal recognition that parts of a TAFE SA course are equivalent in content and level to parts of some University courses. Below are the Credit Transfer details for this course. View all TAFE SA Credit Transfer Agreements

    University University Course Details
    Bachelor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
    Bachelor of Health and Medical Sciences
    Bachelor of Oral Health
    Bachelor of Public Health (Online program)
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