Mission, Goals, Competencies, and Duties

The Dental Hygiene program is dedicated to educating dental hygiene students to acquire the technical skills, skills, ethical standards, and cultural competence for employment in multiple delivery settings.  The program will prepare the student to assume professional responsibilities and provide the highest quality of preventive, educational and therapeutic services to patients in their care.


The SUSLA Dental Hygiene Program will:

  1. Prepare a qualified professional who will be proficient with respect to the      competencies for the Dental Hygienist.
  2. Prepare a graduate who acquire the ethics, values, skills and knowledge of the profession of Dental Hygiene.
  3. Prepare a graduate to be competent in the delivery of oral health promotion and disease prevention in the public and alternative settings.
  4. Prepare a graduate who is aware a variety of opportunities for professional growth and development.
  5. Prepare students to successfully pass the National, Regional and State Licensing Examinations


  1. Graduates must be competent in providing dental hygiene care for the child, adolescent, adult, geriatric, and medically compromised patient.
  2. Graduates must be competent in providing the dental hygiene process of care which includes:  Assessment, Diagnosis, Planning, Implementation, Evaluation
  3. Graduates must be competent in providing dental hygiene care for all types of classifications of periodontal disease including patients who exhibit moderate to severe periodontal disease.
  4. Graduates must be competent in interpersonal and communication skills to effectively interact with diverse population groups.
  5. Graduates must be competent in assessing, planning, implementing and evaluating community based oral health programs including, health promotion and disease prevention activities.
  6. Graduates must be competent in providing appropriate life support measures for medical emergencies that may be encountered in dental hygiene practice.
  7. Graduates must be competent in applying ethical, legal and regulatory concepts to the provision and/or support of oral health care services.
  8. Graduates must be competent in the application of self-assessment skills to prepare them for life-long learning.
  9. Graduates must be competent in the evaluation of current scientific literature.
  10. Graduates must be competent in problem solving strategies (critical thinking and decision-making skills) related to comprehensive patient care and management of patients. 

Main Duties:

    • Work with dentists and other healthcare professionals to meet the oral health needs of the patients
    • Perform oral cancer screenings, review medical histories, take blood pressure readings, and chart the teeth
    • Remove deposits from the teeth
    • Educate patients about proper oral hygiene
    • Take x-rays of the teeth
    • Administer local anesthesia
    • Administer nitrous oxide/oxygen
    • Apply fluoride and sealants to the teeth
    • Counsel patients on proper nutrition, tobacco cessation, dental treatment options

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