The mission of the Austin Community College Dental Hygiene program is to advance the mission of the college by creating an environment that respects the individual, encourages learning, and promotes the success of the person. It is the expectation that this environment exists to meet the needs of the community and the profession of dentistry by providing a quality entry-level dental hygiene program.
The day-to-day activities of the Dental Hygiene program reflect our mission. All individuals deserve to be treated with respect in all our interactions, whether in the classroom, among peers, or assisting a client in the dental hygiene clinic. Respect for the individual creates a trust between students, faculty, and staff that will be felt far beyond the classroom walls.
The Dental Hygiene program is committed to the value of lifelong learning by cultivating an environment that encourages the advancement of knowledge for all of the program's stakeholders: students, faculty, staff, members of the dental community, and the public served by the program. The needs of all stakeholders will be tempered with the understanding that the program exists for the students. All resources will be managed for the purpose of developing caring dental hygiene professionals that will prove to be valuable assets to society.
The goals of the Dental Hygiene Program are to:
- Produce competent entry-level dental hygiene professionals
- Demonstrate good stewardship of all resources
- Develop faculty and staff to be leaders within the college
- Serve as a resource for the public, dental, and dental-hygiene communities
Dental Hygiene graduates will competently:
- communicate a commitment to ethical, legal, and professional behaviors including embracing research and life long learning.
- support and assist the functions of the dental team and the business of dentistry.
- implement an organized system of exposure control for the purposes of protecting themselves and others from infectious and unsafe agents.
- implement an organized review of the physical surroundings to ensure a safe environment for themselves and others.
- collect, assess, document, and communicate dental patients’ medical, dental, familial, and social histories to include predisposing and etiologic risk factors, and initiating referrals.
- provide the information necessary for a dental client/guardian to make an informed decision and obtain an informed consent for dental hygiene procedures.
- collect, assess, document, and communicate dental patients’ existing orofacial conditions to include extraoral and intraoral cancer screenings, obtaining dental radiographs and photographs, and existing intraoral hard and soft tissue conditions.
- assess, document, prepare and communicate dental hygiene diagnoses, and develop dental hygiene and preventive care plans that are holistic and individualized.
- implement, document, evaluate and modify the dental hygiene and preventive care plans.
- initiate and assume responsibility for health promotion and disease prevention.
- recognize and manage medical emergencies in the client care environment.
- promote the values of oral and general health to the public.
- assess, plan, implement, evaluate, and value community oral health services.
- serve diverse patient populations without discrimination.