Standards of Care

Patients being treated at the SFSC Dental Hygiene Clinic can expect the following standard of care:


Medical/Dental History

  • Patient must have a complete medical and dental history including medications and vital signs which can be used to assess the need for medical consultation, medical alert warning in chart and summary of health status (ASA classification).
  • Follow up assessments are conducted at each appointment and completely new forms are obtained every year.


  • Patient must have an extra and intraoral exam that identifies abnormalities that are accurately recorded in the patient’s chart.

Occlusal Assessment

  • Patient must have an occlusal assessment which notes the occlusal classification, any anomalies, or parafunctional habits.

Perio Assessment

  • Patient periodontal tissues must be assessed and accurately recorded.
  • Patient periodontal assessment must be used to formulate a statement of periodontal status.
  • Patient periodontal status must be used to prepare appropriate treatment plans, which are explained thoroughly to the patient.


  • Radiographs must be prescribed appropriately and exposed using ALARA.
  • Diagnostic quality of radiographs must be of such that radiographs can be used in the interpretation of the IO/EO, periodontal diagnosis, and dental charting.
  • Cumulative radiation record must be included in patient chart.

Dental Charting

  • Dental charting must accurately record all aspects of the dentition: mixed  dentition, prostheses, implants, missing and unerupted teeth, restorations, and new and recurrent decay. Dental charting must include radiographic diagnosis when available.

Treatment Planning

Assessing Patient Needs

  • Patient must be informed of cost and educated about the individualized proposed treatment plan, rationale for the treatment appropriate for the level of care necessary.

Treatment Implementation


  • Individualized oral hygiene instruction and education must be given appropriate for the patient’s oral conditions and taking into consideration the patient’s physical/mental limitations.

Adjunctive Dental Hygiene Services

  • Patients who require additional comprehensive dental hygiene services must be informed about the specific treatment available, such as oral appliances, study models, tobacco cessation, home fluoride care, desensitizing agents, subgingival chemotherapeutics, nutritional counseling, and sealants (usually on elementary age children).

Pain Control

  • Patient must receive appropriate pain control measures including topical and local. Anxiety reduction procedures using education, operator confidence and reassurance of the patient are required. Post-operative instructions must be provided. Documentation of pain control is evidenced in patient chart.


  • Appropriate instrumentation technique must be determined and employed for each patient to meet individual patient needs.
  • Laceration of patient gingival tissues is avoided.

Clinical Management/Patient Rights

Preparation and Management

  • Patient must be informed of the extent of time commitment to the dental hygiene student before treatment has begun
  • Patient records and treatment notes must be complete and thorough in content, including prescriptions, patient and instructor signatures, and dates.

Patient Expectations of Privacy, Informed Consent, and Care

  • Patient right to privacy and full disclosure of information about their treatment and medical history is respected.


  • Patients must be treated with compassion, care, and concern by students and staff.
  • Patients must receive information about their conditions and necessary referrals must be given to patients.
  • Patients expect that appointments and treatment plans will be carried out within predicted timeframe.