Dental Hygiene Refresher

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Registration is now CLOSED. Screening form for the 2024 Dental Hygiene Refresher will open in the fall of 2023.


The Division of Continuing Dental Education in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta offers two courses for the Dental Hygiene Refresher Course: a five day and a ten-day clinical course. Participants are directed to the provincial dental hygiene regulatory body for guidance on which course will meet their registration needs. Typically the five day course is intended for dental hygienists wishing to return to practice after 3 to 5 years of inactivity, and the ten day course is intended for those wishing to return to practice after 5 years. The Dental Hygiene Refresher course is also available for those hygienists currently practicing but are seeking to upgrade their competencies.


Both the five day and ten day courses include both a 3 month online, pre-study component and a five or ten day on-site clinical component. Topics include the Dental Hygiene Process of Care, radiology theory, technique and interpretation, instrument maintenance and reprocessing, sealants, dental hygiene instrumentation and periodontal debridement and clinical care on clients in the Oral Health Clinic at the University of Alberta. Continual reflection, assessment and feedback will be provided throughout the online and on-site components.

The clinical portion of the Refresher consists of individualized instruction and continuous assessment and evaluation of clinical procedures performed. It is expected that participants have received previous training and knowledge in instrumentation skills and have the ability to use an explorer, probe and a full complement of periodontal instruments (graceys, universals and sickles) and that by the end of the clinical component the participant can consistently demonstrate procedures at a level of standard met. Participants are also expected to have proper eye wear (appropriate eye protection is required for infection prevention and control).

These courses do NOT re-certify participants in the delivery of local anesthesia nor do they guarantee that participants will acquire the necessary competencies for Entry to Practice as determined by the Alberta College of Dental Hygienists (ACDH) or other provincial regulatory body. Additional education and/or practice may be required by the professional college.

At the end of the course, the Course Coordinator will provide a report to the ACDH Registrar (or applicable regulatory authority). The report will include participant evaluation summaries of performance and any recommendations for further instruction or clinical practicum that may be made by the Clinical Instructors and Course Coordinator.



Upon completion of the online and on-site components of the Dental Hygiene Refresher, participants are expected to be able to

  • demonstrate reflective, judicial and ethical professional practice
  • integrate collaboration and communication with clients, colleagues and other health care providers as a member of a socially responsible, client-centered health care team.
  • show an evidence-based approach to the dental hygiene process of care, namely assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation and evaluation, and demonstrate proficiency within a clinical care context



Online eClass begins February 10, 2022 


Clinical In-Person runs May 29 - June 9, 2023 (5 Day & 10 Day will run during this time)



The cost per participant for the 5- day course is $4,400

The cost per participant for the 10-day course is $7,400.00

We have split tuition in to 3 installments of $1467.00 each for 5-day and $2467.00 each for 10-day. Installments are due: Payment 1 upon registration, Payment 2 due 1 month prior to course & Payment 3 Due before start of Clinic time


A minimum of 3 participants must be registered for the 5 day course to be offered. If less than three (3) participants register, the course may be offered but the cost of the course increases proportionally.



Participants must have a current CPR certificate (BLS – issued within the last 12 months that will remain valid through the clinical sessions).



Participants will have access to an online eClassroom that will guide their progress through the 3-month self-study component. Required readings, reflections, video lectures, video resources and other learning activities will help prepare participants for the QA Test, the on-site clinical component, and help supplement and enrich their preparations for returning to the workforce.

Computer and internet access required for online pre-course learning activities. Online modules and required readings will take approximately 3 months to complete. Information on accessing the online course components will be sent to all registrants upon registration and receipt of payment at the beginning of March.

Upon completion of online course components, participants will write the Quality Assurance Program Assessment Tool. The participant must successfully complete this PASS/FAIL exam prior to admittance into the clinical portion of the course. An additional fee of $85.00 will be required by a later date by the QA Exam providers.
If a participant has successfully completed either the NDHCB National Board exam or QA test within the last year, this requirement may be waived.

Dental hygienists from out of province should confirm that completion of this course will meet the requirements for registration in the province or territory where they will be applying for registration/licensure. They must provide CDE, in writing, confirmation of where to send results and reports for their registration acknowledging that evaluative information will be sent to the provincial regulatory body.

For Alberta registrants, please contact the ACDH Registration Coordinator at 780.465.1756 for information regarding registration in Alberta.


Darby and Walsh: Dental Hygiene Theory and Practice. 5th edition. Elsevier, 2020. ISBN 978-0-323-47719-2

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