About the Dental Hygiene Program

DEGREE AWARDED

The program leads to an Associate in Applied Science Degree and is designated as an Extended Degree Program. The dental hygiene program has an articulation agreement with University of Detroit and options with other universities to transfer a majority of semester hours of credit. Such credit will apply to a completion of a Bachelor of Science degree in Dental Hygiene.  For additional information please speak with the program coordinator.

PROGRAM GOALS

Goal 1 - KNOWLEDGE
To provide a student-centered learning environment through a curriculum that integrates general biomedical science, current dental hygiene theories and dental sciences.

Goal 2 - CLINICAL COMPETENCE
To train students to become dental hygienists who provide quality patient-centered preventive and therapeutic care for patients through the dental hygiene standard of care which involves assessment, diagnosis, implementation and ongoing evaluation as reflected by the OCC Dental Hygiene Competencies for the Dental Hygienist.

Goal 3 - COMMUNICATION SKILLS
To prepare students to become dental hygienists who competently communicate using interpersonal skills to interact with patients, patients' families and fellow members of the health care team to deliver optimal oral hygiene care.

Goal 4 - PROFESSIONAL BEHAVIORS
To prepare students to become dental hygienists who demonstrate competent professional behavior, critical thinking, and  problem solving skills and adhere to the standard of care, legal and ethical principles of the dental hygiene profession.

Goal 5 - HEALTH PROMOTION/DISEASE PREVENTION
To educate students to become dental hygienists who competently perform the six interrelated roles of the professional dental hygienist: administrator/manager, change agent, clinician, client advocate, educator/oral health promoter, and researcher.

Goal 6 - PROFESSIONAL GROWTH/DEVELOPMENT
To help students develop into dental hygienists who realize the enrichment of lifelong learning of their professional growth that includes self-assessment and the ability to analyze the value of current research.

Goal 7 - EVIDENCE BASED DECISION-MAKING
To prepare students to become dental hygienists who competently apply evidence-based decision making skills to the process of dental hygiene in order to improve the quality of patient care and recognize the role lifelong learning has in providing evidence-based oral hygiene care.

DENTAL HYGIENE PROFESSION COMPETENCIES

In 2003, the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) drafted competency statements in five domains. These domains have been adopted by the OCC dental hygiene program to serve guidelines to define the abilities expected of a dental hygienist entering the profession. As defined by ADEA, dental hygienists must exhibit competence in the following five domains.

  • Core Competencies
  • Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
  • Community Involvement
  • Patient/Client Care
  • Professional Growth and Development

ACCREDITATION

The OCC dental hygiene program is fully accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association. Graduation from an accredited dental hygiene program is required by law to be licensed as a dental hygienist in Michigan

ADVISORY LIAISON

The Dental Hygiene Liaison Committee is designed as a formal process for maintaining a connection between the OCC Dental Hygiene Program to dental and dental hygiene professionals from the community. The committee meets annually and consists of the following representatives:

  • President of OCC Highland Lakes campus
  • Three dental hygiene faculty members
  • Dean of Health Professions
  • Two general dentists
  • Two specialty dentists
  • Recent graduates from the dental hygiene program
  • Two current dental hygiene students
  • The Student Component Advisor for  American Dental Hygienist's Association

MISSION STATEMENT

Oakland Community College's Dental Hygiene program is dedicated to providing a student-centered learning environment focused on preparing students to succeed in the licensed practice of dental hygiene through the development of their psychomotor, cognitive and affective skills.