Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2022
Units: 1.5
Hours: 1.5 lecture, 1 laboratory per week (30 total per quarter)
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: None
Grade Type: Letter Grade Only
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • "The student will correctly demonstrate the intra-oral exam procedure of inspection and palpation of the oral cavity, including digital, bidigital, manual and bimanual palpation techniques using gauze and a mouth mirror.
  • Students will create a current evidence-based an oral health product presentation using presentation slides and Voice for narration and present it to class, with a pass rate of 75% or higher.


Introduction to the profession of dental hygiene. Emphasis on dental terminology, communication skills, legal and ethical aspects of dental hygiene practice and licensing requirements. An overview of dental hygiene clinical and lab technique including infection control and examination of the head and neck. This course is a prerequisite for the BS degree in Dental Hygiene and is intended for students in that program.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. examine the ethical and legal principles underlying the practice of dental hygiene.
  2. research a topic related to dental hygiene practice and deliver an oral presentation using evidence based sources.
  3. identify and perform infection control procedures that dental care personnel should use to ensure protection against exposure to infectious diseases.
  4. compare the pediatric and adult dentition.
  5. identify the gross structures of the head, neck, and oral cavity and the normal range of clinical appearance and demonstrate the procedure for performing the intraoral examination.

Course Content

  1. Profession of dental hygiene
    1. Ethics in dental hygiene practice
      1. Code of ethics
      2. Terminology of ethics
    2. Legal considerations in dental hygiene practice
      1. Dental Practice Act of California
      2. Licensure for the RDH
      3. Board examinations
      4. HIPAA
      5. Informed consent
    3. Professional dental hygiene organizations
      1. ADHA
      2. CDHA
    4. Roles and career paths of a professional dental hygienist
      1. Clinician
      2. Corporate
      3. Public health
      4. Researcher
      5. Educator
      6. Administrator
      7. Entrepreneur
  2. Communication and patient education
    1. Oral presentation of dental hygiene issues
      1. Current topics in dental hygiene practice
      2. Levels of evidence in healthcare literature
      3. Library skills for evidence based literature
      4. Techniques for oral presentations
    2. Communication with patients
      1. Verbal communication
      2. Nonverbal communication
      3. Motivational interviewing
  3. Infection control in dentistry
    1. CDC versus OSHA
    2. Standard precautions
    3. Procedures for disinfection of the dental operatory
    4. Risk and prevention of occupational exposure to infectious diseases
  4. Dentition
    1. Primary dentition
    2. Permanent dentition
    3. Universal numbering system
  5. Head and neck examination
    1. Anatomy
    2. Nomenclature
    3. Identification of landmarks
    4. Procedure for performing an intraoral examination
    5. Rationale for performing the head and neck examination

Lab Content

  1. Infection control procedures
  2. Identification of oral anatomy and landmarks
  3. Extra/intraoral exam procedure

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

1. For on-campus labs: safety glasses, gloves, mask, clinical facilities to provide supervised clinical procedures, laboratory facilities with individualized student work areas.
2. When taught as an online course: access to computer with email software and hardware; email address. Students must participate in virtual lab sessions held via Zoom.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Writing assignment
Lab exams: virtual or on-campus
Oral presentation via VoiceThread
Written final

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Oral presentations

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Nield-Gehrig. Patient Assessment Tutorials, 4th ed. (ISBN 9781496335005). 2018.

When taught via Canvas, supplemental lectures, handouts, tests, and assignments delivered via email; feedback on tests and assignments delivered via email; class discussion may be delivered in chat rooms, listservs, and newsgroups.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

Weekly reading assignments, online homework, journal article analysis.


Dental Technology