Dental hygiene education in Alberta is offered through the Dental Hygiene Program at the School of Dentistry in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at University of Alberta (U of A). This program is the approved program for registration and serves as the benchmark program for study for all persons applying for registration in Alberta, as it teaches to the full scope of dental hygiene practice in Alberta. All dental hygiene education programs outside of Alberta must meet a requirement for substantive equivalency for new registrations.
Since 2020, all graduates from the U of A Dental Hygiene Program convocated with a Bachelor of Science Degree with a Dental Hygiene Specialization (BScDH).
U of A Dental Hygiene Program
Registered dental hygienists may improve their career opportunities by applying to be on specific advanced practice rosters after successfully completing specific Council-approved courses. These rosters indicate that the registered dental hygienist has the advanced education and competencies to:
- Prescribe the medications used in dental hygiene practice;
- Administer local anesthetic by injection;
- Prescribe and administer nitrous oxide/oxygen for conscious sedation;
- Perform restorative procedures; and/or
- Perform certain orthodontic procedures.
Administrative and teaching positions in Alberta generally require completion of graduate education at a Masters or PhD level.
All Canadian regulatory authorities advise prospective students to choose an accredited dental hygiene program. 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.
CDAC Program Accreditation Search
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 wish to practice dental hygiene in Alberta and are considering 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.
All registrants must successfully complete the Canadian National Dental Hygiene Certification Examination (NDHCE) as a condition for registration. The NDHCE is administered by the Federation of Dental Hygiene Regulators of Canada. The FDHRC website posts the aggregate examination results from various programs. You may wish to consider these exam success percentages for any programs you are considering.