Dental Competencies

1 Dentist in Action

DMD Competencies

In competency-based dental education, what students learn is based upon clearly articulated competencies and further assumes that all behaviors/abilities are supported by foundation knowledge and psychomotor skills in biomedical, behavioral, ethical, clinical dental science and information management that are essential for independent and unsupervised performance as an entry-level general dentist.

The following competency statements outline the scope of general dentistry as defined by the faculty of the University of Louisville School of Dentistry (ULSD). They have been revised to reflect the contemporary knowledge, skills, and values required for the practice of general dentistry on patients through all stages of life including those with special needs. The statements are grouped into six domains of competence necessary to address patients’ oral healthcare needs and to contribute to their overall wellness.

Critical Thinking and Lifelong Learning

1.1) Graduates must be competent in the use of critical thinking and problem solving, including their use in the comprehensive care of patients, scientific inquiry and research methodology. 

1.2) Graduates must be competent to access, critically appraise, apply, and communicate scientific and lay literature as it relates to providing evidence-based patient care.

Biomedical Sciences

2.1) Graduates must be competent in the application of biomedical science knowledge in the delivery of patient care.

Ethics and Professionalism

3.1) Graduates must be competent in the application of the principles of ethical decision-making and professional responsibility.

Health Care Communication and Cultural Sensitivity

4.1) Graduates must be competent in the application of fundamental principles of behavioral sciences, incorporating patient values as they pertain to patient-centered promotion, improvement, and maintenance of oral health.

4.2) Graduates must be competent in managing a diverse patient population and have the interpersonal and communication skills to function successfully in a multicultural work environment.

Practice Management and Health Care Systems

Graduates must be competent in:

5.1) Applying legal and regulatory concepts related to the provision and/or support of oral health care services.

5.2) Applying the basic principles and philosophies of practice management, models of oral health care delivery, and how to function successfully as the leader of the oral health care team.

5.3) Communicating and collaborating with other members of the health care team to facilitate the provision of health care.

Patient Care

Graduates must demonstrate competence in providing oral health care within the scope of general dentistry for pediatric, adult, and geriatric patients (2-23), including:

Assessment, Diagnosis and Treatment Planning 
6.1) Patient assessment, diagnosis, comprehensive treatment planning, prognosis, and informed consent.

6.2) Screening and risk assessment for head and neck cancer.

6.3) Recognizing the complexity of patient treatment and identifying when referral is indicated.

6.4) Assessing the treatment needs of special needs patients.

Health Promotion and Disease Management
6.5) Assess and identify oral health risk factors to determine a health promotion and disease prevention plan.

6.6) Evaluation of the outcomes of treatment, recall strategies, and prognosis.

6.7) Local anesthesia, and pain and anxiety control, including consideration of the impact of prescribing practices and substance use disorder.

6.8) Restoration of teeth.

6.9) Communicating and managing dental laboratory procedures in support of patient care.

6.10) Replacement of teeth including fixed, removable and dental implant prosthodontic therapies.

6.11) Complete a periodontal evaluation, diagnosis, and non-surgical treatment of mild to moderate forms of periodontal disease; appropriately refer advanced periodontal disease.

6.12) Complete an endodontic evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of uncomplicated endodontic cases and appropriately refer complex care.

6.13) Diagnose, identify, and manage oral mucosal, temporomandibular, and osseous disorders.

6.14) Complete a surgical evaluation, assessment, and treatment of uncomplicated hard and soft tissue oral surgical cases.

6.15) Prevent, recognize, and manage dental emergencies.

6.16) Identify and manage malocclusion to include space management.

6.17) Prevent, recognize, and manage common medical emergencies.