Mission, Goals & Objectives
The Dental Hygiene program is dedicated to educating dental hygienists who are scientifically-orientated, socially aware, technically skilled, ethical practitioners competent for employment in multiple delivery settings. As members of the dental health team, they will prepare to assume professional responsibilities for providing the highest quality of preventive, educational and therapeutic services to patients in their care.
Goals of the Dental Hygiene Program
- To comprehensively prepare competent individuals in the discipline.
- To assure the quality of patient care through a comprehensive quality-assurance program.
- To familiarize students with the use of standardized research methods to enable them to evaluate scientific information as a basis for dental hygiene decision-making and to assume entry-level roles as researchers.
- To engage students in the promotion of dental health ideals through service to the community and the professional organization.
Objectives of the Dental Hygiene Program
Upon successful completion of the program and all licensing examinations, the dental hygienist will be able to:
- Apply ethical reasoning relevant to dental hygiene and practice with professional integrity.
- Comply with state and federal laws governing the practice of dentistry and dental hygiene and take the appropriate measures when confronted with the incompetent, impaired or unethical practitioner.
- Solve problems and make decisions based on accepted scientific principles utilizing scientific literature as a basis for dental hygiene decision making.
- Communicate professional knowledge verbally and in writing to patients, colleagues and other professionals.
- Commit to self-assessment and life-long learning in order to provide contemporary clinical care.
- Advance and support the profession through leadership, service activities and affiliation with professional organizations.
- Assume entry-level roles of the profession (clinician, educator, researcher, change agent, consumer advocate, administrator), as defined by the ADHA.
- Encourage patients to assume responsibility for their health and promote adherence to self-care regimens by serving as a role model.
- Assess, plan, implement and evaluate community-based oral health programs.
- Provide dental hygiene services in a variety of settings and use screening, referral and education to bring consumers into the health care delivery system.
- Obtain, review and update a complete medical, dental and personal history.
- Determine medical conditions that require special precautions or considerations or that pose medical emergency risks and be prepared to assist in the management of an emergency should it occur.
- Perform an intraoral and extraoral examination and accurately record the findings.
- Perform and document a dental and periodontal examination.
- Obtain radiographs of diagnostic quality and distinguish normal from abnormal findings.
- Establish a planned sequence of educational, preventive and clinical services based on the dental hygiene analysis using the problem-based approach.
- Perform dental hygiene interventions to eliminate and/or control local etiologic factors to prevent and control caries, periodontal disease and other oral conditions.
- Manage pain and anxiety during treatment through the use of accepted clinical techniques and appropriate behavioral management strategies.
- Implement and evaluate measures to minimize occupational hazards in the work place and utilize accepted infection control procedures.
- Determine the clinical outcomes of dental hygiene interventions using assessment data, to determine the appropriate maintenance schedule.
- Determine the need for referral to appropriate health professionals.