Dental Hygiene

Core Competencies


The following are the required competencies of the dental hygiene graduate of Baltimore City Community College: 

I. Professionalism

A. Ethics, values, skills, and knowledge is the foundation of the competent dental hygiene graduate.

·     The education and licensure will qualify the dental hygiene graduate to serve the public in the prevention of oral disease and health promotion to maintain optimal health.

·     The dental hygiene graduate will apply a professional code of ethics in all endeavors to increase consciousness and sense of responsibility.

·     The dental hygiene graduate will possess effective written and oral communication skills in dealing with diverse populations.

·     Compassionate and empathetic dental hygiene care will be afforded to all clients  

B. Critical Thinking

·     The dental hygiene graduate will acquire appropriate problem solving and decision making skills within the parameters of scientific methodology

·     The dental hygiene graduate will use evidence-based practice to provide quality dental hygiene care.

II. Health Promotion and Disease Prevention/Community Outreach

The dental hygiene graduate must be proficient in a broad range of health care areas. This knowledge and expertise will allow the graduates to identify, evaluate utilize and refer patients/clients when necessary to promote the individual’s general health and wellness.

·     The dental hygiene graduate will consider the patient/client’s rights to self - determination when developing oral health care regiments.

·     The dental hygiene graduate will utilize other health care providers to provide optimum care and service to the public.

·     The dental hygiene graduate will evaluate and utilize methods to ensure the health and safety of the dental team and the dental client in the delivery of oral health care needs.

III. Patient/Client Health Care

The primary obligation of a dental health care professional is service to the public. Graduates must be competent in providing dental hygiene care for the child, adolescent, adult, geriatric and medically compromised patient.

A. Assessment includes the gathering, organizing and analyzing of all data from observations, patient questioning, and clinical and radiographic evaluations (Wilkins, Esther. 1999, Clinical Practice of the Dental Hygienist, [Philadelphia: Lippincott]).

·     The dental hygiene graduate will be competent in assessing the following:
-- Health survey

-- General dental survey

-- Periodontal survey

-- Radiographic survey

-- Deposits survey

-- Family/social survey

B. Diagnosis is the use of critical decision making skills to reach conclusions about the patient’s/client’s dental hygiene needs based on all available assessment data.

·     The dental hygiene graduate will identify individual patient/client oral health care needs.

·     The dental hygiene graduate will identify the necessary treatment or educational needs that will be addressed by providing oral health care services within the dental hygiene scope of practice.

·     The dental hygiene graduate will identify treatment needs that may require consultation with other licensed health care professionals.

C. Planning is collaboration with the patient/client, and/or other health professionals, to formulate a comprehensive dental hygiene care plan that is patient/client-centered and based on current scientific evidence.

·     The dental hygiene graduate will create an individual care plan that is the road map for case management, which will include all procedures required for the establishment and maintenance of oral health.

·     Based on the care plan, the dental hygiene graduate will prioritize treatment and make referrals to other health care professionals.

·     The dental hygiene graduate will be able to communicate to the patient/client thoroughly the etiology, diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment alternatives.

D. Implementation

·     Provide specialized treatment that includes preventive and therapeutic services designed to achieve and maintain oral health. Assist in achieving oral health goals formulated in collaboration with the patient/client.

·     The dental hygiene graduate will be able to deliver preventive and therapeutic services following established infection control protocol and ergonomic best practices.

·     Preventative oral health care in a pain and anxiety controlled environment.

·     The dental hygiene graduate will be able to perform life support measures to manage medical emergencies in the patient/client care setting.

E. Evaluation is the effectiveness of the implemented clinical, preventive, and educational services and modification as needed.

·     The dental hygiene graduate will determine the clinical outcomes of dental hygiene intervention using indices, instruments and examination techniques for re-evaluation to assess subsequent treatment needs, continuing care and referral.

·     Patient satisfaction will be determined through the completion of the BCCC patient survey form.

IV. Professional Growth and Development

A. The dental hygiene graduate will explore alternative career options within health-care, industry, education, and research and evaluates the feasibility of pursuing dental hygiene opportunities.

B. The dental hygiene graduate will identify professional networks and pursue life-long learning opportunities.