The profession of the dental hygienist is one for persons who want to participate in a formal and specialized health oriented activity. Primary in the mind of the practitioner of this profession is the desire to provide a health service to one's fellow man. At present, dental hygiene is a profession ancillary to the profession of dentistry and is so considered in the various legal jurisdictions throughout the United States. Its position as an ancillary profession is in agreement with the official position of the American Dental Association. The department emphasizes that the dental hygienist is the only member of the dental health team, other than the dentist, who is licensed to provide direct care to the patient, almost always providing these services under the direct or general supervision of the dentist. The department believes that the graduate of this program should be able to perform competently in private practice, in institutional practice, in community dental health programs, and also should perform competently as a broadly educated, valuable citizen and a recognized professional in the community. The graduate is expected to be well prepared to continue learning independently, and to act as a missionary to attract other highly motivated and qualified persons into the profession.
The difference between creative and effective dental hygiene and just dental hygiene lies in the fact that the creative hygienist has a broad and deep knowledge which is freely functioning. She/he is skillful in finding out what kind of patient she/he is dealing with; she/he has firm objectives for her/his treatment; she/he has the ability to determine what is significant for any situation; how to plan with the patient and the dentist to secure effective results; and finally, she/he evaluates these results.