Dental Hygiene Planning
The dental hygiene care plan should be a vehicle for care that is safe, evidence-based, clinically sound, high-quality, and equitable. The plan should be personalized according to the individual’s unique oral health needs, general health status, values, expectations, and abilities. When formulating the plan, dental hygienists should be sensitive and responsive to the patient’s culture, age, gender, language, and learning style. They should demonstrate respect and compassion for individual patient choices and priorities.
I. Identify all needed dental hygiene interventions including change management, preventive services, treatment, and referrals.
II. In collaboration with the patient and/or caregiver, prioritize and sequence the interventions allowing for flexibility if necessary and possible.
III. Identify and coordinate resources needed to facilitate comprehensive quality care (e.g., current technologies, pain management, adequate personnel, appropriate appointment sequencing, and time management).
IV. Collaborate and work effectively with the dentist and other health care providers and community-based oral health programs to provide high-level, patient-centered care.
V. Present and document dental hygiene care plan to the patient/caregiver.
VI. Counsel and educate the patient and/or caregiver about the treatment rationale, risks, benefits, anticipated outcomes, evidence-based treatment alternatives, and prognosis.
VII. Obtain and document informed consent and/ or informed refusal.
Planning is the establishment of realistic goals and the selection of dental hygiene interventions that can move the client closer to optimal oral health. The interventions should support overall patient goals and oral health outcomes. Depending upon the work setting and state law, the dental hygiene care plan may be stand-alone or part of collaborative agreement. The plan lays the foundation for documentation and may serve as a guide for Medicaid reimbursement. Dental hygienists make clinical decisions within the context of legal and ethical principles.