Mission & Goals
Austin Community College Department of Dental Hygiene prepares a diverse student population to become competent entry-level dental hygiene professionals by providing an inclusive, equitable, and safe learning environment that serves the evolving needs of the community and oral health workforce.
The day-to-day activities of the Dental Hygiene Program reflect our mission. All individuals deserve to be treated with respect in all 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:
Support faculty development in an effort to encourage teaching methodologies that are designed to serve a diverse student population.
Provide a supportive learning environment to ensure student retention and development of competent entry-level dental hygiene professionals.
Demonstrate good stewardship of all resources
Areas of Study
We provide Dental Hygiene students a thorough education in the following areas:
- Tooth morphology; head, neck, and oral anatomy
- Dental radiology procedures and techniques
- Oral health education and preventive counseling
- Dental hygiene assessment and treatment planning
- Management of dental hygiene care for child, adolescent, adult, geriatric, and special needs patients
- Provision of comprehensive dental hygiene services to include the removal of deposits from the teeth, pain management, and the application of therapeutic agents
- Assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation of community-based oral health programs
- Application of ethical, legal, regulatory, and practice management concepts
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.
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Dental Hygiene Updates
TEAS Testing Requirements for Health Sciences Applicants
A TEAS Exam score is required to apply to the following programs: Dental Hygiene, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Radiology, and Vocational Nursing.
If you are not applying to one of the programs above, then you are not required to take the TEAS Exam at this time. Please refer to the Application Process page for your program to see all application requirements.Read more
Note to applicants regarding “P/NP” grades due to COVID-19:
A "P" grade will count for course completion of a prerequisite and co-requisite, but will not be calculated in determining the GPA for ranking purposes and could impact your total ranking score. For questions regarding choosing a "P" versus a performance grade (A,B, C), please contact Teri Frank at [email protected].Read more
NEW Application Submission Process During Coronavirus Pandemic
Due to public safety concerns, applications will not be accepted in person until further notice. Effective immediately, applicants for all Health Sciences programs except Associate Degree Nursing, Mobility Nursing, and RN-to-BSN should follow these instructions when submitting their application and supporting documents:Read more