College of Dentistry Competency Statements

  1. BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES A new dental graduate must be competent in the application of the fundamental principles of behavioral science as tools for patient-centered promotion, improvement and maintenance of oral health.
  2. DIVERSITY & COMMUNICATION SKILLS A new dental graduate must be competent in managing a diverse patient population and have the interpersonal and communication skills to function successfully in a multicultural and interdisciplinary work environment.
  3. HEALTH CARE DELIVERY A new dental graduate must be competent in applying basic principles and philosophies of practice management, models of health care delivery, and how to function successfully as the leader of the oral health care team
  4. PROFESSIONALISM A new dental graduate must be competent in identifying and applying legal, ethical and professional principles as they pertain to the practice of dentistry.
  5. THE USE OF CRITICAL THINKING IN THE ASSESSMENT OF PATIENTS, RECOGNITION OF HEAD AND NECK ANOMALIES AND DIAGNOSIS OF ORAL AND DENTAL DISEASE, FORMULATION OF COMPREHENSIVE TREATMENT PLANNING, PREVENTION AND OUTCOMES OF DENTAL CARE FOR PATIENTS OF ALL AGES.

    The intent of this statement of competencies combines the use of critical thinking in the overall assessment and treatment of patients who need oral care. In order to achieve the stated goal, the students must be competent in the use of critical thinking when:   5a – Assessing the patient’s oral health, diagnosing existing disease processes, formulating a treatment plan that addresses all needs of the patient, and providing comprehensive treatment to re-establish oral health.   5b – Obtaining supporting and relevant dental practice information from multiple sources, including library materials and contemporary electronic media as it relates to providing evidence-based patient care.   5c – Confirming the diagnosis of the oral disease processes, providing comprehensive treatment, determining the reasons that lead to the development of the problems, and formulating a prevention plan.   5d – Formulating a protocol to determine the outcomes of dental care and long-term maintenance of oral health.
  1. INFECTION CONTROL A new dental graduate must be competent in applying current infection control principles.
  2. INFORMED CONSENT A new dental graduate must be competent in obtaining informed consent.
  3. PAIN MANAGEMENT A new dental graduate must be competent in managing pain and anxiety for their patients.
  4. RESTORATION AND REPLACEMENT OF TEETH A new dental graduate must be competent in restoring teeth to proper form and function, in designing   dental prostheses to replace teeth, in directing laboratory technicians to fabricate dental laboratory products that fulfill established criteria and in assessing the acceptability of completed products from a dental laboratory.
  5. PERIODONTAL THERAPY A new dental graduate must be competent in performing anti-infective periodontal therapy, including scaling and root planning and monitoring their effectiveness.
  6. PULPAL THERAPY A new dental graduate must be competent in managing pulpal and periapical disease.
  7. ORAL MUCOSAL DISORDERS A new dental graduate must be competent in recognizing and managing oral mucosal diseases and abnormalities.
  8. SURGERY A new dental graduate must be competent in performing surgical and non-surgical exodontia of erupted teeth, minor alveoplasty, flap surgery and primary wound closure.
  9. DENTAL AND MEDICAL EMERGENCIES A new dental graduate must be competent in assessing and managing dental emergencies, and must be competent in providing appropriate life support measures for medical emergencies that may be encountered in the dental practice.
  10. MALOCCLUSION A new dental graduate must be competent in classifying and managing malocclusions.
  11. SPACE MANAGEMENT A new dental graduate must be competent in arch analysis and space management.
  12. TREATMENT OUTCOMES ASSESSMENT A new dental graduate must be competent in documenting and evaluating the results of treatment, and recognizing deficiencies, including self-assessment of treatment rendered.
  13. SPECIAL NEEDS PATIENTS
    A new dental graduate must be competent in oral health treatment for patients with special needs.
  1. THERAPEUTICS
    A new dental graduate must be competent in prescription writing and the appropriate use of drugs and medications in the practice of dentistry. They must also be competent in educating patients about the indication for therapy and possible adverse reactions.
  1. SLEEP MEDICINE
    A new graduate must be competent in the recognition of patients who may be at an increased risk of a sleep-related breathing disorder, perform appropriate risk-assessment, and make appropriate referral.
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College of Dentistry
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Memphis, TN 38163
Phone: (901) 448-7686
Fax: (901) 448-1625