Student Learning Outcomes | Dental Hygiene & Dental Therapy

Program Mission

The mission of the School of Dental Hygiene Studies at Pacific Univiersity is to provide an outstanding education to prepare leaders in the dental profession that will deliver compassionate care in a variety of settings and demonstrate exemplary service to the community and the profession. 

Graduates of the BS Degree Dental Hygiene | MS Dental Therapy Program at Pacific University will demonstrate the following competencies:

- Provide the dental process of care which includes:

  • Assessment – collect and analyze data to determine general and oral health status of patients.
  • Diagnosis – identify oral health conditions that can be treated within the scope of practice.
  • Planning – develop a dental care plan that reflects realistic goals and treatment strategies to promote optimal oral health.
  • Implementation – provide patient-centered care based on current standards of practice and emerging scientific research.
  • Evaluation – measure the extent to which goals identified in the dental care plan is achieved.
  • Documentation – record complete and accurate information related to patient care.

- Follow protocols to prevent, prepare for, and respond to medical emergencies that may occur when providing patient care.

- Provide dental care within the scope of practice to patients of all age groups including children, adolescents, adults and geriatric patients.

- Provide dental care for patients who exhibit all classifications of periodontal disease including patients who exhibit moderate to severe periodontal disease.

- Provide dental care within the scope of practice for patients with special medical, physical, psychological and social needs.

- Incorporate expanded functions into dental hygiene care including local anesthesia, nitrous oxide-oxygen sedation, gingival curettage and restorative dental procedures.

- Use critical thinking and problem-solving strategies to provide comprehensive patient care within the scope of practice, deliver effective management of patient conditions, and recognize when consultation with a dentis and/or other healthcare provider(s) is necessary. 

- Provide dental care in a variety of settings under the general, direct or indirect supervision of a dentist as dictated by the state's dental practice act.

- Use interpersonal skills and cultural awareness to communicate effectively with diverse populations.

- Work effectively with patients, and community partners, and providers in a variety of settings.

- Assess, plan, implement and evaluate community-based oral health programs including health promotion and disease prevention activities.

- Apply principles of ethical reasoning, ethical decision making and professional responsibility as they pertain to the academic environment, research, patient care and health care equity, and practice management.

- Apply legal and regulatory concepts to the provision and support of oral health care services.

- Evaluate current scientific literature to support and communicate evidence-based dental care within the scope of practice.

- Use self-assessment skills to prepare for life-long learning and continuing professional development.

- Possess foundational knowledge to pursue roles in clinical practice, public health, education, research, business management, administration, advocacy and leadership.

- Participate in professional learning activities (e.g. professional conferences, services and/or community-based learning experiences, etc.) to foster professional development and responsibility.