A survey by the China Health Department in 2003 indicated that about 2/3 of the Chinese on the Mainland are suffering from a certain degree of periodontal disease. Though the local situation is not as bad, many Hong Kong citizens are also affected by the disease. Proper daily cleaning does not completely eliminate this problem, and very often, professional help from a dental hygienist is needed. In response to the needs of the community, the College and the Prince Philip Dental Hospital are offering this 2-year Higher Diploma programme in Dental Hygiene with the support of the Faculty of Dentistry, The University of Hong Kong and this is the only dental hygiene programme offered in Hong Kong.
Course Aims and Objectives
This programme aims to provide the relevant professional training needed to prepare you for a career in dental hygiene. Upon completion, you will be qualified to serve as a member of a dental team who will be capable of controlling and preventing periodontal disease and dental caries.
All specialist practical training is held at Prince Philip Dental Hospital. Clinical placement may be arranged for students to visit or work in dental clinic or department other than the Prince Philip Dental Hospital, e.g. government or private dental clinics.
Upon completion of the programme, students are eligible to enroll as “Dental Hygienists” with the Dental Council of Hong Kong, and thus are qualified to serve as member of a dental team, in controlling and preventing periodontal disease and dental caries.
Opportunities for Further Studies
Graduates can apply for further degree studies in Biological Sciences, Nursing, Dentistry, Medicine or related subjects in universities overseas or locally through the Non-JUPAS route.
Holders of the Higher Diploma in Dental Hygiene are permitted to treat patients with periodontal problems locally. Alternatively, graduates can choose to work as oral health educators in promoting dental health to the general public.
Special Entrance Requirements
1. Applicants are also required to have obtained Level 2 or above in the HKDSE Biology or Level 3 or above in Combined Science (Biology), or have a pass in Biology / Human Biology in the HKCEE, or equivalent.
2. Special consideration may be given to applicants who have experience of working in a dental clinic and / or are holders of a Diploma in Dental Surgery Assisting or an equivalent qualification.
EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING COURSES
Problem-based Learning (PBL)
Dental Health Education
Under the Guidance and Supervision of a teacher, student dental hygienists work in groups to prepare Waiting Room Display Board in hospital, to plan, design, implement and evaluate a Dental Health Education Project for a specific target group which is of their own interest and to prepare report after presentation.
- Graduate of Higher Diploma in Dental Hygiene in 2016
Time flies. I have successfully completed this intense and challenging training programme. Being a student of dental hygiene is totally different from a secondary school student. There is no choice but to comply with the instructions during the clinical training sessions. However, it is full of great satisfaction and an unforgettable memory in my entire life. Clinical training is an integrated part of the whole programme. I have to practise clinical skills and apply dental knowledge when treating patients. Besides the clinical treatment, I found that persuading patients from changing their habit and attitude is the most challenging mission. Nevertheless, when I observed a positive change from a patient, I am very delighted with my efforts. In addition, to searching for information and having group discussions are the major ways to acquire knowledge in this problem-based learning (PBL) atmosphere. Compared with the traditional learning, PBL is more inspirational and easier to understand theories and practices. Besides, generic skills courses provide a balanced development for my study and I learned cooperate with team members and it greatly improved my communication skills. Last but not least, what I have learnt in this course is not only the dental knowledge but also working and interacting with different people. This course provides a great foundation for my future career and I am grateful to be one of the graduates in dental hygiene.
- Graduate of Higher Diploma in Dental Hygiene (2013-15)
I am so delighted for being a graduate of Higher Diploma of Dental Hygiene programme. The two years training from this programme supports me to handle and solve many big task of my job already, such as how to communicate with different patients. At the beginning of the programme, the clinical training session is very difficult for me, because I need to properly deliver oral health knowledge and treatment to my patients who suffer from periodontal disease. After two years training, I truly believe that the clinical training session helped me to build a good foundation of how to manage patients and treat periodontal disease. For the problem based learning (PBL) module, this is very new and interesting for me. All of us need to solve problems by ourselves and have sharing and presentation during PBL class. I believe that I have increased my originality and curiosity in the PBL class. The generic skills courses are also important that the diverse courses improve my language and communication skill. During the time I was studying in the programme, I met many good tutors who relieved an enjoyable and useful learning experience. I consider myself is lucky to have an opportunity to study in dental hygiene programme.
- Graduate of Higher Diploma in Dental Hygiene (2012-14)
Without a doubt, this two-year programme is a very comprehensive course, which has fostered my development as a professional dental hygienist. All the training I received from the course can equip me to practically apply in my dental hygienist career. The communication skills developed in the Generic Skills Courses improved my language competency and built up my self-confidence. At the beginning of the course, the Problem-based Learning (PBL) module was definitely a challenge to me because this learning approach was radically new to me. From the presentations in the PBL class, I gradually learnt how to address the compelling practical or theoretical problem, communicate information and ideas to my peers. Proper skills in solving problem were also developed through self-learning and group discussion. The Clinical Training sessions offered me invaluable hands-on practical experience in managing and treating authentic patients suffering from oral hygiene / health problems. With guidance from the clinical supervisors, I learnt the skills to build rapport with patients and properly deliver treatment to patients who suffer from periodontal disease, dental caries or other oral health problems. The professional trainings I got from the Higher Diploma in Dental Hygiene programme have undoubtedly been helpful to my career in dental health services. I am proud to be a graduate from this programme and to serve the community in Hong Kong.
- 2011-13 Graduate of Higher Diploma in Dental Hygiene
‘Practical’ is the word that I use to describe this 2-year Higher Diploma course in Dental Hygiene. I was surprised by the methods of training which have equipped me not only with the knowledge in dental aspects but also provided me with holistic development. The Problem-based learning (PBL) module is incredibly useful in training my critical thinking as well as my organizing skills. Definitely, the experience that I acquired from this module can be applied and be very useful to my future studies and work. Moreover, the experience that I gained from the Clinical Training module, which was run side by side with the PBL module, can be applied in managing my patients as well as in other work situations. I am very proud of being a member of the dental profession after these two years.
- 2010-12 Graduate of Higher Diploma in Dental Hygiene
It is amazing to me that I have become a dental professional in just 2 years' time. I am happy to see people benefiting from the services that I have offered to them in preventing periodontal disease and dental caries. By virtue of this course I have found the right path. In addition to the programme itself, the resources provided especially those by the Prince Philip Dental Hospital (PPDH), where many local dental professionals are trained, are essential in making the comprehensive training successful. Things taught in the generic modules at HKU SPACE CC have also helped me a lot in completing my studies in both the generic subjects and specialism. This course has definitely provided a professional training for me to be a dental hygienist. I am sure that students who are determined to become a professional in dental hygiene will benefit a lot from this course.
- 2010-12 Graduate of Higher Diploma in Dental Hygiene
I became a professional dental hygienist after this two-year Higher Diploma programme. This has provided me with clinical training sessions, problem-based learning and other generic skills. Problem-based learning (PBL) has given me a new learning experience and has encouraged me to analyse problems by information searching, self-reading and group discussions. The clinical sessions have provided invaluable opportunities for me to treat patients in the Prince Philip Dental Hospital. More importantly, apart from the clinical skills, I have learned how to communicate and to take care of my patients. I found these experiences were really applicable and helpful to my career. Besides this, the generic modules also provided me with opportunities to strengthen my language ability and presentation skills. Now I know more about the role and responsibilities of a registered dental hygienist in Hong Kong and I am proud to be one of them.
- 2010-11 Graduate of Higher Diploma in Dental Hygiene
During the two years of studies in the Higher Diploma in Dental Hygiene, I found it a very memorable experience. The unique "Problem-based Learning" teaching method has allowed me to develop logical and critical thinking which has enhanced my ability to analyze problems independently. These are important for me to work in the dental field. In addition, the clinical sessions have given me the opportunity to treat patients who have a wide range of oral health problems. It is very useful for my future career. And now, I am glad to have become one of the enrolled dental hygienists in Hong Kong and I believe I can apply my knowledge and experience and contribute to the community.
- 2010-11 Graduate of Higher Diploma in Dental Hygiene
I love my job as a dental hygienist. The 2-year Higher Diploma course is a comprehensive course which provided me with dental knowledge, clinical experience and generic skills. All that I learned and gained from the course can be practically applied in my work as a Dental Hygienist. Without a doubt, I found Problem Base Learning (PBL) a new and challenging academic experience after secondary school. Nevertheless, it helps students develop their critical thinking through information searching, group discussion and tutorial. In the clinical sessions, lecturers not only encouraged us to bring the knowledge into practice, but also taught us effective patient management skills and demonstrated how to co-operate with other dental practitioners. I find this invaluable in my day-to-day work. The generic courses also gave us training on language and communication skills. In short , this course has given me everything I require to become a professional dental hygienist and lots more besides.