It appears that your browser does not support JavaScript. We use JavaScript on our website to display some information. Please use a browser that supports JavaScript.

Mission, Goals & Competencies

Mission Statement

It is the mission of the Midwestern State University Dental Hygiene Department to prepare dental hygienists who will provide competent and compassionate oral health care to individuals as well as communities. To prepare oral health care providers with strong clinical skills, ethical professional values, and who recognize and respect diversity of thought in the global community. The role of the faculty is to facilitate learning and to guide students to their own potential through role modeling and sensitivity to them as  individuals.  The department strives to create a positive and rewarding academic environment that facilitates continued growth and enrichment of all students and faculty. To encourage an interdisciplinary approach between dental hygiene and dentistry as well as other health professional components, the maintenance of high standards of evidence based patient care, life-long learning and service to the community.



The goals of the program are to:

  1. Prepare students, through appropriate academic and clinical educations, to be qualified dental professionals.
  2. Provide comprehensive dental hygiene treatment to those communities served by the program through a complete, sequential, and fully monitored system of care.
  3. Create a positive and rewarding academic environment that facilitates continued growth and enrichment of all students and faculty.
  4. Foster opportunities for faculty and student involvement in service activities that are consistent with personal development goals and that promote dentistry as an integral component in the overall health and welfare of the global community




Dental Hygiene graduates will competently:

  1. Discern and mange ethical issues of dental hygiene practice
    • Abide by State Dental Practice Acts, the American Dental Hygienist Association Code of Ethics and principles of ethical behavior in decision-making, in interactions with patients and staff, and in personal conduct.
  2. Demonstrate diversity, social and cultural sensitivity in the practice of dental hygiene
    • Recognize the impact of health status and ability, age, gender, ethnicity, social, economicand cultural factors on health disease, health beliefs and attitudes, and health literacy.
    • Model cultural sensitivity in all professional endeavors.
    • Develop treatment plans, programs and strategies responsive to the diverse cultural and ethnic values of the communities served.
  3. Acquire and synthesize information in a critical, scientific and effective manner.
    • Demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate professional knowledge verbally and in writing.
    • Evaluate published clinical and basic science research and integrate this information to improve theoral health of the patient.
    • Problem solve and make decisions based on accepted scientific principles as well as the accepted standard of care.
  4. Improve the knowledge, skill, and values of the profession of dental hygiene.
    • Promote the values of the profession to the public and other organizations outside of the dental profession.
    • Advance the profession through leadership, service activities and affiliation with professional organizations.


Health Promotion and Prevention

Dental Hygiene graduates will competently:

  1. Provide planned educational services using appropriate interpersonal communication skills and    educational strategies to promote optimal health.
    • 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 individual patient while promoting optimal oraland general health.
  2. Promote the values of oral and general health and wellness to the public and organizations within and outside of the profession.
    • Identify services that promote oral health and prevent oral disease and related conditions.
    • Assess, plan, implement and evaluate community-based oral health programs.
    • Use screening, referral and education to bring consumers into the health care delivery system.
    • Discuss selected reimbursement mechanisms and their impact on the patient’s access to oral health care
  3. Systematically collect, analyze and accurately record baseline data on the general, oral and psychosocial health status using methods consistent with medicolegal principles.
    • Obtain, review and update a complete general and oral health history, including assessments of vital signs, and be able to record the findings.
    • Recognize the patient record as a legal document and maintain its accuracy, consistency, and confidentiality
    • Recognize medical conditions and medications that require special precautions or consideration prior to or during dental hygiene procedures.
    • Identify the patient at risk for a medical emergency and be prepared to handle the emergency should it occur during an appointment.
    • Perform an extra-oral and intra-oral examination and record findings.
    • Perform an examination of the teeth and accurately record the results.
    • Recognize need for and obtain radiographs of diagnostic quality.
    • Radiographically distinguish normal from abnormal 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 alternate food patterns.
    • Utilize, interpret and analyze appropriate indices for patient assessment.
    • Assess and analyze patient risk factors that may impact dental hygiene care.
  4. Discuss the condition of the oral cavity, actual and potential problems identified, etiological and contributing factors, as well as recommended and alternative treatments available.
    • Use critical decision-making skills to reach conclusions about the patients dental hygiene needs based on all available assessment data including:
    • Use of assessment findings, etiologic factors, clinical and other diagnosis data in determining a dental hygiene diagnosis.
    • Identification of patient needs and significant findings that impact the delivery of dental hygiene care.
    • Determine priorities and establish oral health goals with the patient, family member, and/or guardian as an active participant.
    • Using a problem-based approach to establish a planned sequence of educational and clinical services based on the diagnosis.
    • Communicate the plan for dental hygiene services to the dentist or other interdisciplinary health team members to determine its congruence with the overall plan for oral health care.
  5. Provide treatment in compliance with the overall treatment plan that includes preventive and therapeutic procedures to promote and maintain oral health and assist the patient in achieving oral health goals.
    • Evaluate and utilize methods to ensure the health and safety of the patient and the dental hygienist in the delivery of dental hygiene care.
    • Apply basic and advanced principles of both hand and powered dental hygiene instrumentation to locate and remove deposits without undue trauma to hard and/or soft tissue.
    • Compare/contrast use of hand and powered instruments.
    • Identify indications and contraindications for sonic and ultrasonic use.
    • Identify appropriate instrument and/or insert for task.
    • Demonstrate finger rests and fulcrums for use of hand instruments.
    • Demonstrate placement, adaptation, angulation and working strokes with hand instruments.
    • Appropriately utilize explorers, curettes, scalars, and other suitable hand instruments.
    • Utilize standard ultrasonic or sonic inserts for removal of heavy calculus.
    • Utilize modified ultrasonic inserts for subgingival debridement and root planing.
    • Control pain and anxiety during treatment within the parameters of the Texas Dental Practice Act.
    • Select and administer appropriate chemotherapeutic agents and provide pre- and post-treatment instructions, including professional and home fluoride therapy.
    • Provide adjunct dental hygiene services that can be legally performed including, but not limited to:
    • Application of pit and fissure sealants.
    • Cleaning of removable prostheses and insertion.
    • Selective coronal polishing
    • Providing health education and preventive counseling.
    • Providing nutritional counseling related to oral conditions and/or diseases.
    • Describe experiential adjunct procedures.
    • Implement and evaluate measures to minimize occupational hazards in the work place, including postural and engineering factors, such as equipment and instrument design
  6. Evaluate the effectiveness of planned clinical and educational services and modify as necessary.
    • Determine the outcomes of dental hygiene interventions (re-evaluations) using indices, instruments, examination techniques and patient self-report.
    • Evaluate the patient’s satisfaction with the oral health care received and the oral health status achieved.
    • Provide subsequent treatment based on evaluation findings.
    • Develop and maintain a continuing care program.