Division of Dental Hygiene
Mission and Goals
The Mission of the University of New Mexico Division of Dental Hygiene is to educate dental hygienists through the transmission of dental science knowledge acquired from research and patient care; to improve the health of the people of New Mexico through academic and clinical training of highly qualified dental hygiene professionals; to provide the highest quality oral health care services to the community; to advance the art and science of dental hygiene via research and other scholarly/creative activities; to provide, sponsor and/or participate in activities and services that validate the educational programs of the University as integral and vital parts of the entire health care spectrum.
The following goals of the University Of New Mexico Division Of Dental Hygiene are integral to accomplish this mission:
- Goal #1 Education
Prepare students, through appropriate academic and clinical education, to be qualified dental professional utilizing a competency-based curriculum.
- Goal #2 Patient Care
Provide comprehensive dental hygiene treatment and referrals to those individuals served by the University through a complete, sequential, and monitored system of oral health care delivery.
- Goal #3 Professional Development/Research
Create a positive environment through the provision of development programs that facilitate continued growth and enrichment of all students and faculty.
- Goal #4 External Programs
Foster opportunities, utilizing resources both locally and nationally, for faculty and student involvement in service activities that are consistent with personal development goals and that promote dental health as an integral component in the overall health and welfare of the community.
- Goal #5 Recruitment
Recruit the highest quality of students.
Dental hygiene competencies related to goals:
- Obtain, review and update a complete medical, family psychological and dental history, including assessment of vital signs, and record findings.
- Recognize the patient record as a legal document and maintain its accuracy and consistency.
- Recognize medical conditions and medications that require special precautions or consideration prior to or during dental hygiene treatment.
- Identify the patient at risk for medical emergency and be prepared to handle emergency should it occur during an appointment.
- Perform an extraoral and intraoral examination and record findings.
- Perform an examination of the teeth and accurately record the results.
- Identify need for an obtain radiographs of diagnostic quality.
- Radiographically distinguish normal from abnormal anatomical findings.
- Evaluate the periodontium and identify conditions that compromise periodontal health and function.
- Identify conditions and diseases that affect dietary intake and food selection and recognize risks and benefits of alternative food patterns.
- Analyze and interpret the data related to and congruent with the diagnosis of the dentist and other health professionals.
- Utilize, interpret and analyze appropriate indices for patient assessment.
- Assess and analyze patient risk factors that may impact dental hygiene care.
- Develop a dental hygiene diagnosis.
- Develop a dental hygiene treatment plan based upon the patient's diagnosis, and present treatment plan case to the patient.
- Recognize the importance of informed consent, and obtain it from the patient prior to treatment.
- Evaluate and utilize methods to ensure the health and safety of the patient and the dental hygienists in the delivery of dental hygiene care.
- Apply basic and advanced principle of hand and powered dental hygiene instrumentation to remove deposits without trauma to hard and or soft tissue.
- Control pain and anxiety during treatment through the use of accepted clinical techniques and appropriate behavioral management strategies.
- Select and administer the appropriate chemotherapeutic agent and provide pre and post-treatment instructions.
- Provide adjunct dental hygiene services that can be legally performed.
- Providing health education and preventive counseling.
- Provide nutritional counseling related to oral conditions and/or disease.
- Implement and evaluate measures to minimize occupational hazards in the work place, including postural and engineering factors such as equipment and instrument design.
- Determine outcomes of DH interventions (re-evaluation) using indices, instruments, exam techniques and patient self-report.
- Evaluate the patient's satisfaction with oral health status achieved.
- Evaluate patient's dental needs, and provide a referral to patients when indicated.
- Apply the provisions of the New Mexico Dental Practice Act in dental hygiene practice.
- Apply the provisions of the American Dental Hygienists' Association Code of Ethics in a dental hygiene practice.
- Apply the principles of ethical behavior in decision-making, in interactions with patients and staff, and in personal conduct.
- Ensure the privacy of the client during dental hygiene treatment and counseling and the confidentiality of client records.
- Identify the health needs of individuals and assist them in the development of appropriate and individualized self-care regimens.
- Respect the goals, values, beliefs and preferences of the patient while promoting optimal oral and general health.
- Evaluate factors that promote patient adherence to disease prevention and encourage patients to assume responsibility for health and wellness.
- Promote the values of oral and general health and wellness to the public and organizations within and outside the profession.
- Identify services that promote oral health and prevent oral diseases and related conditions.
- Assess, plan, implement and evaluate community-based oral health programs.
- Be able to influence consumer groups, businesses and government agencies to support health care issues.
- Use screening, referral and education to bring consumers into the health care delivery system.
- Provide dental hygiene services in variety of settings including offices, hospitals, clinics, extended care facilities, community programs, and schools.
- Evaluate reimbursement mechanisms and their impact on the patient's access to oral health care.
- Recognize and use written and electronic sources of information.
- Evaluate the credibility and potential hazards of dental products and techniques.
- Evaluate published clinical and basic science research and integrate this information to improve the oral health of the patient.
- Recognize the responsibility and demonstrate the ability to communicate professional knowledge verbally and in writing.
- Accept responsibility for solving problems and making decisions based on accepted scientific principles.
- Advance profession through leadership, service activities and affiliation with professional organizations.
- Expand and contribute to knowledge base of dental hygiene.
- Promote the values of the profession to the public and other organizations outside of the dental profession.