Courses Handbook 2006 - [Archived]

150221 v.3 Associate Degree in Dental Hygiene


Course CRICOS Code: 053467D
Registered full-time Duration for International Onshore Students on student visas: 2 Years


Dental hygienists perform a range of clinical duties, including scaling and cleaning of teeth and the management of gum problems, the application of fluoride and other solutions to teeth and gums, local analgesia, dental radiography, taking impressions and a range of orthodontic duties. The dental hygienist is an educator and motivator who has an important role in educating the community in the principles of preventive dentistry and in motivating individuals into taking responsibility for their own oral health. The dental hygienist is a member of the dental team and works under the direction of a dentist who is responsible for the diagnosis and treatment planning for every patient and who delegates by prescription the work to be carried out by the dentalhygienist.

Course Entry Requirements/Prerequisites

General University entry requirements apply. TEE Human Biology or Biology are desirable prerequisites.

Specific Requirements

Based on academic performance, candidates are required to attend an interview and, as it is necessary to perform exceptionally fine work with the hands, applicants are also required to perform a simple carving exercise to assess their manual dexterity. Interview and dexterity tests are normally held in December and early January as results become available and can be arranged by distance. Applicants will need to provide the name and contact details of a suitable person (eg JP) to oversee the dexterity assessment. Applicants for this course should refer to the Communicable Diseases and Criminal Record Screening and Clearance Section of this publication. Prospective students should consult the Head of the Department of Dental Hygiene and Therapy for specific information regarding this course. Successful completion of a Senior First Aid Certificate is required before students proceed to first year, second semester studies. Students are required to practice techniques on one another before being permitted to move into patient care. Prospective students will need to be able to work as part of a team and should enjoy communicating and establishing rapport with persons of all cultural backgrounds and ages. STAT elements considered are E and either V or Q.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Applications for recognition of prior learning are assessed on an individual basis.

Duration and Availability

This course is two years full-time study. Additional clinical hours are required during inter-semester breaks. The course is conducted at the Oral Health Centre of Western Australia (OHCWA) and on the Bentley Campus. Practical sessions run thoughout the two years. These are undertaken in a variety of settings including the Department's clinic, OHCWA, community clinics and private dental practices.

Course Organisation

The course commences with a study of relevant biomedical sciences together with preventive dentistry and dental hygiene techniques. These subjects, further developed with behavioural units in second year, cover a broad field relating to community dentistry and to practical and clinical aspects of dental hygiene and to community dentistry. In first year students study relevant biomedical sciences including general and oral anatomy, histology, physiology and microbiology, disease processes. Prevention of dental diseases and clinical techniques that dental hygienists perform. Second year students study communication and patient management, interrelationships between oral diseases and non-oral diseases, interrelationships between the different oral health fields, prevention of dental diseases at the community level, interpretation of the dental literature and clinical dental hygiene procedures. Practical sessions run throughout the two years. Clinical experience commences late in the second semester and continues through to the second year,

Professional Recognition

Graduates intending to work in Western Australia are required to register with the Dental Board of Western Australia. Registration permits the hygienist to work in private practice and for various government services. Since the autonomy of dental hygienists in private practice varies from country to country, international applicants should check local registration requirements with their appropriate dental board or regulatory authority.

Additional Course Expenses

Students may be expected to purchase a number of textbooks, readers and other essential study materials. Protective clinical uniform and shoes are to be purchased during first semester, instruments to be purchased during second and third semester.

Course Structure



Year 1 Semester 1

302467 v.2   Introduction to Microbiology 132 3.0 12.5
302880 v.1   Clinical Dentistry 137 10.0 25.0
6954 v.4   Dental Biology 135 4.0 25.0
7093 v.6   Clinical Dentistry 135 3.5 12.5
7099 v.7   Preventive Dentistry 135 4.0 25.0

Year 1 Semester 2

11779 v.3   Preventive Dentistry 136 2.0 12.5
11780 v.3   Oral Microbiology 136 2.0 12.5
302881 v.1   Clinical Dentistry 138 10.5 25.0
303456 v.3   Applied Oral Biology 136 5.0 25.0
7094 v.6   Clinical Dentistry 136 3.0 12.5
7865 v.5   Pathology 136 2.0 12.5

Year 2 Semester 1

13019 v.2   Psychology 123 3.0 25.0
302887 v.1   Clinical Dentistry 237 21.0 50.0
7100 v.8   Preventive Dentistry 235 2.0 12.5
8071 v.7   Clinical Dentistry 235 3.5 12.5

Year 2 Semester 2

11781 v.3   Preventive Dentistry 236 2.0 12.5
2403 v.5   Behavioural Science 280 2.0 12.5
302903 v.1   Clinical Dentistry 238 19.0 50.0
8072 v.9   Clinical Dentistry 236 3.0 12.5
8391 v.8   Oral Pathology and Medicine 236 3.0 12.5


Year Location   All* Internal Partially Online Internal^ External Fully Online#
2006 Bentley Campus Semester 1   Y      

The information displayed above refers to study periods and locations where the course is available for first time entry. Students are normally only offered or admitted to a course once.

*The course itself may not be available either solely internally or externally but individual units may be offered in either or both of those modes. Prospective students should contact the Course Coordinator for further information.

^Course and associated units are offered in this mode permitting International Onshore student enrolment.

#Course and associated units are offered in this online only mode and DO NOT permit International Onshore student enrolment.

Curtin Search Curtin Site Index