Competency Statements

The following 30 competency statements represent areas of performance in which students must demonstrate an attainment of the requisite knowledge, skills and values to enter into an unsupervised private practice situation. The primary purpose of the School of Dentistry, as stated in its Mission Statement, is to educate students toward becoming proficient in providing for the oral health needs of society. Professional development is a continuous process that begins in the freshman year and concludes upon the termination of practice. It has been described as an educational continuum occurring in following five stages: beginner, novice, competent, proficient, and expert. The achievement of competence is but a step in the journey toward becoming expert and represents only a minimal level of expected performance in an unsupervised environment. Proficiency requires higher levels of mastery that can only be realized as a result of additional study and experience. To assist the student in this regard and to satisfy its primary Mission Statement objective, the School, through its academic departments, has established expectations of student performance which, if successfully accomplished, will provide an opportunity for professional development that exceeds the mere attainment of competence. Measurement of the attainment of competence is accomplished through two principal methods. One involves the use of faculty ratings designed to capture judgments about students’ clinical abilities apart from the results they produce. The other is through the use of specific competency examinations. The true measure of competence occurs when the student works independently of any instructor assistance during a specific competency evaluation or examination. Accordingly, these examinations administered during the course of study at Creighton University School of Dentistry will be the primary method by which the achievement of competence is determined. The other methods, including faculty ratings, will be used to provide supplemental or corroborating information. All competencies must be attained in order to be eligible for graduation.



A1. understanding the biomedical sciences and their relationship to oral health, oral diseases, and oral-related disorders.


B1. understanding and applying the principles of behavioral science as they pertain to patient-centered approaches for promoting, improving, and maintaining oral health.

B2. managing a diverse patient population and having the interpersonal and communication skills to function successfully in a multicultural work environment.


C1. evaluating different models of oral health care management and delivery.

C2. applying the basic principles and philosophies of practice management and having the skills necessary to function as the leader of the oral health care team

C3. communicating and collaborating with other members of the health care team to facilitate the provision of health care.


D1. understanding and applying ethical, legal, and regulatory concepts as they pertain to patient care and practice management.

D2. demonstrating the ability to self-assess relative to professional development and to self-directed, life-long learning.


E1. using critical thinking and problem solving skills to guide clinical decision making during the comprehensive care of patients as well as in scientific inquiry and research methodology.

E2. using information technology resources in contemporary dental practice.


F1. performing patient examination, assessment, and diagnosis procedures.

F2. developing a comprehensive plan of treatment.

F3. understanding the principles of health promotion and disease prevention.

F4. understanding and obtaining informed consent.

F5. selecting, administrating, and prescribing appropriate pharmacologic agents to manage conditions that influence dental treatment including pain and anxiety, and using non-pharmacologic methods when appropriate.

F6. restoring single defective teeth with appropriate materials and techniques to establish proper form, function, and esthetics.

F7. restoring partial or complete edentulism with fixed or removable prosthodontics in the uncomplicated patient and in managing the care of the complicated edentulous patient.

F8. managing the restoration of partial or complete edentulism using contemporary implant procedures.

F9. performing uncomplicated periodontal therapies and in managing the care of patients with complicated or advanced periodontal problems.

F10. performing uncomplicated endodontic procedures and in managing the care of patients with complicated pulpal and periradicular disorders.

F11. recognizing and managing oral mucosal and osseous disorders.

F12. performing uncomplicated hard and soft tissue oral surgical procedures and in managing the care of patients with complicated oral surgical problems.

F13. preventing, recognizing, and managing dental emergencies including pain, hemorrhage, trauma, and infection of the orofacial complex.

F14. managing patients with acute and chronic occlusal and temporomandibular disorders.

F15. managing minor tooth movements and space maintenance as well as the care of patients with complicated or advanced orthodontic problems.

F16. appraising completed and existing treatments and in using these outcomes of patient care to guide professional development, recall strategies, and prognoses.

F17. preventing, recognizing, managing, and treating, for the short-term, acute medical emergencies in the dental environment including the provision of life support measures.

F18: assessing the treatment needs of patients with special needs.

F19. performing, managing, and/or communicating requisite technical and laboratory procedures attendant to the provision of dental restorations.

F20. assessing, critically appraising, applying, and communicating scientific and lay literature as it relates to providing evidence-based patient care.