Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2021
Units: 2
Hours: 1 lecture, 3 laboratory per week (48 total per quarter)
Advisory: Not open to students with credit in D H 75C.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU
Grade Type: Letter Grade Only
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • The student will prepare an action plan for successfully passing the dental hygiene licensing examination.
  • The student will assess and identify acceptable patients according to criteria for the dental hygiene licensing examination.


Preparation for clinical licensing board examinations. Overview of exam criteria, identification an appropriate patient for clinical state and/or regional board licensing exam for Dental Hygienists. Strategies for exam preparation and anticipating methods which will influence a successful board experience. Supportive course to reinforce and amplify the knowledge and skills needed to perform dental hygiene procedures. Intended for students in the Dental Hygiene Baccalaureate Degree Program; enrollment is limited to students accepted in the program.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. Recruit patients for licensing exam screenings in the clinic.
B. Assess patients according to current board exam criteria during screening sessions.
C. Identify factors that will contribute to a successful licensing exam experience.
D. Identify clinical state and/or regional board patients.
E. Apply the principles of law and ethics to the practice of dental hygiene.

Course Content

A. Patient recruitment for licensing exam (Lec and Lab)
1. Strategies for recruiting patients
a. Development of flyers and handouts
b. Contacting local businesses for permission to post flyers
c. Advertising sources
2. Locations to recruit patients
a. College campuses
b. Local businesses
c. Churches
d. Family and friends
B. Patient assessment for licensing exam (Lec and Lab)
1. Current criteria for an acceptable clinical licensing exam patient
a. Patient criteria
1) ASA status
2) Medical history
3) 18 years of age or older
4) Not a dental professional
5) Can submit 1 quadrant and up to 4 additional teeth for exam
b. Probing criteria
1) Periodontal pockets not greater than 6mm in depth
c. Calculus criteria
1) 12 surfaces of qualifying subgingival calculus
2) 3 qualifying surfaces must be on molars
3) No more than 4 surfaces may be located on mandibular anterior teeth
4) More than 4 surfaces may be located on maxillary anterior teeth
d. Radiographs
1) WREB guidelines for acceptable radiographs
2) Type and amount of radiographs
a) Panoramic film
b) Bitewing films
c) Periapical films
2. Examination schedule
a. Patient selection
b. Patient check-in procedures
1) Exam paperwork
2) Exam instruments
3) Setting up unit
c. Patient treatment
1) Administration of local anesthesia
2) Provision of dental hygiene treatment
3) Periodontal probing and recession
d. Patient check-out procedures
1) Breaking down unit
2) Completion of paperwork
e. Patient follow up
C. Factors for successful licensing exam outcomes (Lec)
1. Patient selection
a. Cooperation of patient
b. Reliability of patient
c. Difficulty of patient case
d. Possible submissions
2. Patient preparation
a. Outline of exam procedure for patient
b. Instructions for patient behavior
c. Organization of patient paperwork and radiographs
3. Equipment organization
a. Instrument identification and preparation
b. Organization plan
4. Procedural organization
a. Successful examination day experience
5. Psychological preparation
a. Anxiety and stress management strategies
b. Visualization techniques
6. Develop individual action plan
a. Action plan for time management during the exam
b. Treatment strategies
7. Discuss patient cases that qualify for the licensing exam
a. Case studies
1) Caries status
2) Periodontal status
D. Clinical board patients (Lab)
1. Assess patients according to criteria
a. WREB guidelines
2. Prioritize patients according to criteria as primary or back up patients
a. Patient acceptability
b. Patient submission
3. Expose and develop radiographs according to criteria
a. WREB guidelines
b. Foothill College guidelines
E. Principles of law and ethics (Lec and Lab)
1. Clinical licensing examination paperwork
a. Patient records
b. Informed consent
2. Legal duties of California dental hygienist
a. Follow up care
3. Patient confidentiality
4. Professional ethics and interactions with faculty, patients and peers
5. Cultural competency

Lab Content

Dental hygiene clinical practice. Assessment and evaluation of patients seen in the clinic during licensing exam screening sessions.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

A. Multimedia classroom, dental hygiene clinic.
B. Student instrument kit, personal protective barriers, expendable supplies kit, sterilization lab, radiology lab.

Method(s) of Evaluation

1. Patient selection criteria examination
Project requirements:
1. Assess patients for dental hygiene treatment according to clinic guidelines
2. Identify primary and secondary patients according to criteria outlined for patients for board requirements
3. Expose diagnostic radiographs according to clinic guidelines and acceptable standards for board requirements
4. Individual action plan for licensing exam
Class participation:
1. Students must prepare for all classes as demonstrated by having all necessary supplies and equipment in lecture and lab and by participating in class discussions, patient recruitment and screening sessions

Method(s) of Instruction


Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Bowen, D., and J. Pieren. Darby and Walsh Dental Hygiene Theory and Practice, 5th ed.. 2019.

Nield-Gehrig. Fundamentals of Periodontal Instrumentation, 8th ed.. 2019.

Nield-Gehrig, J., D. Shin, and D. Willman. Foundations of Periodontics for the Dental Hygienist, 5th ed.. 2018.

Hoang, L.. Clinical Dental Hygiene Theory Manual III. 2021.

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

A. Read 25 pages of criteria for state board and/or regional board in course syllabus.
B. Develop recruitment materials (flyers, internet notices, etc.) to use in recruiting patients for licensing exam screening sessions.
C. Create an individual action plan and strategies for successfully passing the licensing examination.


Dental Technology