Working in Singapore as a Hygienist

Working in Singapore as a hygienist has numerous benefits, including low tax rates, excellent infrastructure and a friendly environment. Prospective hygienists simply have to undergo a registration process at the Singapore Dental Council.

Register as an OHT
The Oral Health Therapist functions as an important member of a multi-disciplinary health care team.
Oral Health Therapist works in conjunction with licensed dentists.

(A) Dental Hygienists
Foreign trained dental hygienists with SDC-recognised qualifications will be able to register as Dental Hygienists.

The scope of work that can be performed by a dental hygienist include:
1. Cleaning and polishing of teeth.
2. Scaling of teeth.
3. Root planing of teeth.
4. Application to the teeth of solutions of sodium or stannous fluoride or such other similar
prophylactic solutions as the Council may from time to time determine.
5. Application of fissure sealants.
6. Application of rubber dam.
7. Exposure of radiographic films intraorally or extraorally for the investigation of lesions of the
mouth, jaws, teeth and associated structures.
8. Usage of infiltration anaesthesia in procedures such as scaling or root planing.
9. Taking alginate impressions of the upper and lower dentition.
10. Giving of advice on matters related to dental hygiene.

(B) Dental Therapists
Up until 2002, the Health Promotion Board conducted a 3-year programme in dental therapy. Students who successfully completed this programme were awarded a Certificate in Dental Therapy.

Dental therapist may perform the following on a person who is 18 years of age or younger:
1. Cleaning and polishing of teeth.
2. Scaling of teeth.
3. Any application to the teeth of solutions of sodium or stannous fluoride or such other similar
prophylactic solutions as the Council may from time to time determine.
4. Application of fissure sealants.
5. Application of rubber dam.
6. Extraction of primary teeth.
7. Restoration of teeth using direct restorative materials.
8. Exposure of radiographic films intraorally or extraorally for the investigation of lesions of the
mouth, jaws, teeth and associated structures;
9. Usage of infiltration anaesthesia in procedures such as scaling or direct restorative procedure.
10. Taking alginate impressions of the upper and lower dentition.
11. Giving of advice on matters related to dental hygiene.

(C) Dental Therapists/ Hygienists
Graduates of Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) Diploma in Dental Hygiene and Therapy:

In 2003, NYP started a 3 year dental therapy and hygiene diploma programme. Clinical training is
conducted at both Health Promotion Board and the National Dental Centre. Graduates are dually
qualified as Dental Therapists as well as Dental Hygienists.

The scope of work that can be performed by a dental therapist/hygienist include:
1. Cleaning and polishing of teeth.
2. Scaling of teeth.
3. Root planing of teeth.
4. Application to the teeth of solutions of sodium or stannous fluoride or such other similar
prophylactic solutions as the Council may from time to time determine.
5. Application of fissure sealants.
6. Application of rubber dam.
7. Extraction of primary teeth of persons of 18 years of age or younger.
8. Restoration of teeth of persons of 18 years of age or younger using direct restorative materials.
9. Exposure of radiographic films intraorally or extraorally for the investigation of lesions of the
mouth, jaws, teeth and associated structures.
10. Usage of infiltration anaesthesia in procedures such as scaling, root planing, direct
restorative procedure and extraction.
11. Taking alginate impressions of the upper and lower dentition.
12. Giving of advice on matters related to dental hygiene.

List of Dental Institutions approved by the Singapore Dental Council

Australia

    University

  1. Curtin University
  2. Griffith University
  3. University of Sydney
  4. University of Queensland
  5. University of Adelaide
  6. University of Melbourne
  7. University of Newcastle
    Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Science (Oral Health Therapy)
  • Bachelor of Oral Health in Oral Health Therapy (BOralH)
  • Bachelor of Oral Health
  • Bachelor of Oral Health (BOralH)
  • Certificate in Dental Therapy
  • Certificate of Attainment, Dental Hygiene Practice and Health Promotion
  • Bachelor of Oral Health (B.OralHlth)
  • Bachelor of Oral Health
  • Bachelor of Oral Health

ENGLAND

    University

  1. King’s College London
  2. University of Birmingham
  3. University of Manchester
  4. University of Leeds Leeds Dental Institute
  5. University of Liverpool School of Dental Sciences
  6. University of London
  7. University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
  8. University of Sheffield
    Qualifications

  • Diploma in Dental Hygiene from Kings College
  • Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSc)
  • Oral Health Sciences (BSc)
  • Graduate Diploma in Dental Hygiene and Therapy
  • Combined Diploma in Dental Hygiene/Therapy
  • Diploma In Dental Hygiene and Therapy
  • Diploma in Dental Hygiene and Therapy
  • Diploma in Dental Hygiene and Therapy

IRELAND

    University

  1. National University of Ireland, University Cork College, Cork University Dental School and Hospital
  2. University of Dublin Dublin Dental & Hospital
  3. Queen’ s University of Belfast School for Dentistry Belfast School of Dental Hygiene
    Qualifications

  • Diploma in Dental Hygiene (DipDHyg)
  • Diploma in Dental Hygiene
  • Diploma in Dental Hygiene

New Zealand

    University

  1. Auckland University of Technology
  2. University of Otago
    Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Health Sciences in Oral Health
  • Bachelor of Oral Health (BOH)

SCOTLAND

    University

  1. University of Dundee
    Qualification

  • BSc in Oral Health Sciences

UNITED STATES AND CANADA

Any graduate from an American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) accredited programme and conferred the title of Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH)

Qualifying Examination for OHT
The Council may require a foreign-trained person with a diploma/degree, other than a diploma specified in the Schedule, to undergo and pass an examination conducted or arranged by the Council or by such other person as the Council may appoint.

To apply to sit for qualifying examination (QE) for OHT, the applicant must meet the criteria laid down by the Council.

Criteria for Qualifying Examination for OHTs:
(i) offer of employment (compulsory) and
(ii) Singaporean/PR, married to Singaporean/PR and children of PR’s, or
(iii) possess a basic qualification that is comparable to the local diploma or those on the Schedule.

The examination will be conducted in English, and would cost $SGD $ 1500. An applicant shall be entitled to only 2 attempts at the examination and both attempts to be taken within a period of 12 months of each other.