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Dental Hygiene Education Options

Dental hygiene education in Alberta is offered through the University of Alberta (U of A) Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, Dental Hygiene Program. The Dental Hygiene Program enables students to acquire knowledge and develop skills so that they may assume responsibility in clinical practice, health promotion, education, community health care, and research.

The U of A Dental Hygiene Program is the approved program for registration in Alberta and serves as the benchmark program of study for all persons applying for registration in Alberta.

The U of A offers the following dental hygiene education programs:

 There is no direct entry from high school into the BSc (Dental Hygiene Specialization) program. To be accepted into the program, students must first complete one year of university level study including courses in English, general chemistry, organic chemistry, sociology, psychology, statistics, and biology. The U of A dental hygiene admissions office should be contacted to discuss the possibility of completing this pre-professional year at another recognized postsecondary institution.

The BSc (Dental Hygiene Specialization) Post Diploma Degree Completion Program is open to prior U of A Dental Hygiene Diploma graduates or dental hygiene diploma graduates from other accredited dental hygiene programs.  The MSc in Medical Sciences (Dental Hygiene) Degree is offered for persons proceeding from a BSc(DH Specialization) Degree or an equivalent degree.


Out-of-Province Education

All Canadian regulatory authorities advise prospective students to choose an accredited dental hygiene program. You should be aware that not all programs offer an education that is substantially equivalent to the U of A Dental Hygiene Program. If you or someone you know is considering attaining dental hygiene education outside of Alberta, be sure to investigate the course thoroughly prior to making your choice to ensure that it is substantially equivalent to the U of A Dental Hygiene Program.


Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada

The Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada (CDAC) is the body responsible for accrediting dental, dental specialty, dental residency, dental hygiene, and dental assisting education programs across Canada.

Visit CDAC's website  to check that a program you are considering is accredited.


National Examination

You must successfully complete the National Dental Hygiene Certification Board (NDHCB)  examination to register with CRDHA. Check NDHCB's website to view the examination results  from various programs. (The examination results are aggregated by dental hygiene school: click the "combined" link to view the PDF file.) It appears that students from some programs may be better prepared than students from other programs to successfully achieve a passing grade in the NDHCB examination.