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The dental hygiene diagnosis provides the basis for the dental hygiene care plan.  Multiple dental hygiene diagnoses may be made for each patient or client. Only after recognizing the dental hygiene diagnosis can the dental hygienist formulate a care plan that focuses on dental hygiene education, patient self-care practices, prevention strategies, and treatment and evaluation protocols to focus on patient or community oral health needs.

 I. Analyze and interpret all assessment data.

II. Formulate the dental hygiene diagnosis or diagnoses.

III. Communicate the dental hygiene diagnosis with patients or clients.

IV. Determine patient needs that can be improved through the delivery of dental hygiene care.

V. Identify referrals needed within dentistry and other healthcare disciplines based on dental hygiene diagnoses.

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The ADHA defines dental hygiene diagnosis as the identification of an individual’s health behaviors, attitudes, and oral health care needs for which a dental hygienist is educationally qualified and licensed to provide. The dental hygiene diagnosis requires evidence-based critical analysis and interpretation of assessments in order to reach conclusions about the patient’s dental hygiene treatment needs.

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