Goals and Objectives

The following dental hygiene program goals reflect the mission of the University and College. Reflected in the curriculum, the program competencies support the attainment of the program goals.

Goal 1 (Education)

Through appropriate evidenced-based education, graduates will be equipped with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to be competent and qualified dental professionals that value life-long learning. 

Dental hygiene students will:

  1. Complete a curriculum that is aligned with CODA Standards and the ADEA Compendium Guidelines.
  2. Advance the science of dental hygiene practice through participation in scholarly and research activities to include completion of Seminar I and II that focus on evidenced-based practice and review of scientific literature.
  3. Complete a theory course that incorporates the importance of life-long learning.

Goal 2 (Clinical Patient-centered Care)

Dental hygiene graduates will possess the clinical skills and knowledge fundamental to providing high quality patient-centered care to all populations in an ethical and professional manner.

Dental hygiene students will:

  1. Utilize and complete a non-graded clinical competency-based program incorporating the dental hygiene process of care to demonstrate competence.
  2. Employ ethical and professional attributes as well as patient-centered care throughout the clinical program.

Goal 3 (Professional Service)

Dental hygiene graduates will promote oral health as an integral part of the health and welfare of the community through involvement in oral health care programs and activities for diverse populations.

Dental hygiene students will:

  1. Participate in professional organizations and community dentistry projects to advance the profession through leadership and service activities.
  2. Complete clinical hours at the UAMS 12th Street Health and Wellness Center

Goal 4 (Interprofessional Collaboration)

Dental hygiene graduates will possess skills to engage in interprofessional collaboration.

Dental hygiene students will:

  1. Participate in the interprofessional collaboration at the university.
  2. Complete clinical hours at the 12th Street Health and Wellness Center

Program Competencies

  1. Use critical thinking skills and comprehensive problem-solving to identify oral health care strategies that promote patient health and wellness.
  2. Continuously perform self-assessment for lifelong learning and professional growth.
  3. Systematically collect, analyze, and record diagnostic data on the general, oral, and psychosocial health status of a variety of patients using methods consistent with medicolegal principles.
  4. Recognize the relationships among systemic disease, medications, and oral health that impact overall patient care and treatment outcomes.
  5. Use patient assessment data, diagnostic technologies, and critical decision-making skills to determine a dental hygiene diagnosis to reach conclusions about the patient’s dental hygiene care needs.
  6. Collaborate with the patient and other health professionals as indicated to formulate a scientific evidence and professional judgment.
  7. Provide specialized treatment that includes educational, preventive, therapeutic services designed to achieve and maintain oral health.
  8. Determine outcomes of dental hygiene interventions using indices, instruments, examination techniques, and patient self-reports as specified in patient goals.
  9. Record accurate, consistent, and complete documentation of oral health services provided.
  10. Assess the oral health needs and services of the community to determine action plans and availability of resources to meet the health care needs.
  11. Provide community oral health services in a variety of settings.
  12. Apply a professional code of ethics in all endeavors.