Head Heart and Hands

Note: You can see the definitions of key terms used in this document by clicking the hyperlinks.

Preamble

In the 1990s under the leadership of Dr. David W. Chambers, the school led the nation in the adoption of a competency-based education model for pre-doctoral dental programs. In contrast to the prevailing system of ‘clinical requirements,’ an approach that merely counted a pre-set number of procedures completed in each clinical discipline, competency implies an ongoing and broad-based measure of the developing knowledge, skills, abilities, and values essential to the beginning practice of general dentistry. In a competency-based model, multiple faculty observers repeatedly evaluate independent student performance in a natural setting over time.

Goal of the Educational Program

These competency statements were developed in 2016-17 by a representative group of faculty, students, and alumni to reflect the ‘head, heart and hands’ philosophy the school embraces:

  • the integration of current and emerging biomedical and clinical knowledge (head);
  • professionalism, ethical behavior, empathy, and communication skills (heart);
  • and clinical skills (hands).
Competency Statements
  1. Integrate biomedical science and clinical knowledge to improve oral and systemic health.
  2. Think critically; use the scientific method to evaluate established and emerging biomedical and clinical science evidence to guide practice decisions.
  3. Recognize manifestations of systemic disease and evaluate the impact on oral health, oral health care, and well-being.
  4. Recognize and evaluate the impact of comprehensive oral health care on systemic health and well-being.
  5. Apply the principles of health promotion and disease prevention to individuals and communities.
  6. Apply the principles of bioethics to practice.
  7. Apply the principles of behavioral science to practice.
  8. Establish and maintain trust and rapport with all stakeholders in patient care. Demonstrate empathy.
  9. Manage the oral health care needs of pediatric, adolescent and adult patients, including geriatric patients and patients with complex needs.
  10. Perform comprehensive diagnostic evaluations and risk assessment on patients at all stages of life.
  11. Obtain, select, and interpret images and tests necessary for accurate differential diagnoses and correlate them with clinical findings.
  12. Formulate and present comprehensive, sequenced treatment plans and prognoses in accordance with patient needs, values and expectations.
  13. Obtain and document informed consent or refusal.
  14. Follow standard infection control guidelines.
  15. Preserve and restore hard and soft tissue to support health, function and aesthetics:
    1. Screening and risk assessment for head and neck cancer; 
    2. Local anesthesia and pain and anxiety control;
    3. Appropriate utilization of therapeutic and pharmacological agents used in patient care; 
    4. Management of orofacial pain;
    5. Communicate with dental laboratory technicians and manage laboratory procedures to support patient care; 
    6. Risk assessment, prevention and management of caries, including minimally invasive dentistry;
    7. Restore and replace teeth, including operative, fixed, removable and dental implant therapy;
    8. Risk assessment, prevention, and management of periodontal disease, including recare strategies; 
    9. Dental emergencies; 
    10. Pulpal therapy and endodontics; 
    11. Oral mucosal and osseous disorders; 
    12. Bony and soft tissue surgery; 
    13. Malocclusion and space management; and
    14. Evaluate treatment outcomes, prognosis, and continuing care strategies.
  16. Recognize and manage medical emergencies in the dental setting.
  17. Interact effectively with stakeholders from diverse cultures, backgrounds and identities.
  18. Practice, delegate, or refer within the scope of practice and in alignment with patient needs, values, and expectations.
  19. Apply current principles of business, financial and human resource management to lead the oral health care team.
  20. Evaluate contemporary and emerging models of oral healthcare delivery, understand dentistry's role in the larger health care system and strive to reduce barriers to care.
  21. Collaborate with the interprofessional health care team to improve oral-systemic health, enhance the patient experience and reduce risk.
  22. Evaluate and implement current and emerging technology to diagnose, prevent and treat disease.
  23. Engage in ongoing quality assurance to improve patient outcomes.
  24. Behave professionally: manage personal behavior and performance in accordance with standards of the school and the profession.
  25. Practice in accordance with current local, state and federal laws and regulations.
  26. Demonstrate ongoing reflection, self assessment, continuous learning and professional development.
  27. Demonstrate healthy coping and self care strategies. 
  28. Participate in professional activities to promote the profession and serve individuals and communities.
  1. Screening and risk assessment for head and neck cancer; 
  2. Local anesthesia and pain and anxiety control;
  3. Appropriate utilization of therapeutic and pharmacological agents used in patient care; 
  4. Management of orofacial pain;
  5. Communicate with dental laboratory technicians and manage laboratory procedures to support patient care; 
  6. Risk assessment, prevention and management of caries, including minimally invasive dentistry;
  7. Restore and replace teeth, including operative, fixed, removable and dental implant therapy;
  8. Risk assessment, prevention, and management of periodontal disease, including recare strategies; 
  9. Dental emergencies; 
  10. Pulpal therapy and endodontics; 
  11. Oral mucosal and osseous disorders; 
  12. Bony and soft tissue surgery; 
  13. Malocclusion and space management; and
  14. Evaluate treatment outcomes, prognosis, and continuing care strategies.

(final, approved by curriculum committee, Jan. 25, 2018)