J Dent Hyg Sci.  2017 Jun;17(3):193-201. 10.17135/jdhs.2017.17.3.193.

Competencies for Entry into the Profession of Dental Hygiene

  • 1Department of Dental Hygiene, College of Dentistry and Research Institute of Oral Science, Gangneung-Wonju National University, Gangneung 25457, Korea. freshjung@gwnu.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Dental Hygiene, Yonsei University Wonju College of Medicine, Wonju 26426, Korea.
  • 3Department of Dental Hygiene, Hanseo University, Seosan 31962, Korea.


This study was conducted to derive core and detailed competencies of dental hygienists to be utilized as educational targets to be reached by graduation as well as basic data that can be reflected in the development and improvement of dental hygiene curricula. This study analyzed publication reports from the Korean Dental Hygienists Association, the International Federation of Dental Hygienists, the Commission on Dental Accreditation, and the American Dental Education Association. Based on the academic classification system for dental hygiene studies, the components of core and detailed competencies of dental hygiene school at the time of graduation were extracted and developed through expert panel discussions. This study defined competencies at the graduation level of dental hygiene school and derived eight core competencies and their 52 detailed competencies to serve as educational objectives from four areas: professionalism, communication, clinical practice, and community and health promotion. In the future, it will be necessary to conduct self-assessments of competencies based on those developed in this study, at time of the graduation from dental hygiene school, as well as to continuously develop competency-based curricula according to entry level, knowledge level, and graduation level. Thus, it is urgently necessary to develop a system that can evaluate the competencies of dental hygienists after graduation and put this system into practical use.


Competency-based education; Core competency; Dental hygiene; Specific competency
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