Competencies List

The Faculty of Dental Medicine of the Hebrew University & Hadassah

Professional Competencies for the New General Dental Practitioner



Dentists are expected to promote and enhance the total health of theirs patients through oral health management. Managing oral health care applies to all patients, patients with special needs, and patients with oral manifestations of systemic disease and involves providing ongoing oral health care management. In the course of managing patient care, competent practitioners should recognize the limitations of their expertise, and refer patients appropriately for treatment and coordinate the patient care plan.


The Faculty of Dental Medicine of the Hebrew University identified 6 core Professional Competencies' domains for the graduated general dentist: 

A. Interpersonal Communication and Social skills Domain

B. Knowledge base, Information and Information Literacy Domain

C. Clinical Information gathering, Diagnosis and Treatment Planning Domain

D. Prevention and Health Promotion Domain

E. Oral Health Managing, Establishing, and Maintaining Oral health Domain

F. Professionalism Patient Care and Clinical Practice Domain

The domains reflect the Faculty's Vision and Goals ensuring that all graduates are competent to provide comprehensive, patient-centered, evidence-based oral health care, and receive diverse experiences through engagement with community and professional organizations. 

The following resources were used in the development of the Professional Competencies:

  1. ADEA Competencies for the New Dentist Journal of Dental Education. 2004;68 (7):742-744.
  2. J. Cowpe, A. Plasschaert, W. Harzer, H. Vinkka-Puhakka and A. D. Walmsley. Profile and competences for the graduating European dentist – update 2009 European Journal of Dental Education Volume 14, Issue 4, November 2010, Pages: 193–202.
  3. ADEA Competencies for the New General Dentist: (As approved by the 2008 ADEA House of Delegates). Journal of Dental Education 2013 77:899-902.
  4. ADEA Foundation Knowledge and Skills for the New General Dentist. Journal of Dental Education 2011;75(7):936-940

Guiding Principles

Ideally, professional development begins the first day the student enters dental school and does not end until the day the dentist retires from the profession. While this should be a continuous process of improvement, the process can be divided conveniently into five stages: novice, beginner, competent, proficient, and expert (1).


Definitions and Policy Statements

Other than the decision to begin this professional journey, the most significant milepost is the attainment of the first professional degree, which corresponds to the accomplishment of professional competencies (1).

Competency – the ability to begin independent, unsupervised dental practice.  Competencies are abilities essential to beginning the practice of dentistry. The competencies set forth in this document are supported by knowledge of basic biomedical, behavioral, and clinical sciences; by cognitive, psychomotor, self-assessment and critical thinking skills; and by professional and ethical values. The integration and application of the basic biomedical sciences are considered a critical element in the development of competencies for the future (1).

The Faculty of Dental Medicine Professional Competencies for the New General Dental Practitioner are intended to guide the pre-graduate curriculum, as dynamic standards to regulate, review and revision as part as a process ongoing quality improvement of the education. These competencies are support integration and merging of all disciplines, which benefit dentists in training and also patients who are receiving treatment. Competency statements provide undergraduate dental teaching institutions with a benchmark with which to (2):

  1. Review, redefine and restructure the undergraduate curriculum
  2. Review and improve student evaluation processes
  3. Establish and apply outcome measures to assess the effectiveness of the undergraduate program.

These competencies relate to the child, adolescent, adult, geriatric, and medically compromised patients.

In the following list of competences, the term "manage" is used frequently. The term "manage" includes: communication with all parties (patient, colleagues, specialists, team members etc.), method and guidelines, refer and collaborate with other dental or other specialist(s), choose and use the appropriate measurements, prevention, care, patient's self-management, use performance tests (defined by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)

The overall learning outcomes and competencies of the D.M.D degree of the Hebrew University and Hadassah Faculty of Dental Medicine are:

Graduates must be competent to:  

Domain 1: Interpersonal Communication and Social Skills

  • 1.1 Establish appropriate patient-dentist interpersonal and communicational skills. Show compassion, respect and sensitivity to the patient, including when appropriate a relationship with a parent or caregiver.
  • 1.2 Identify patient expectations and needs. Consider psychosocial factors of the patient and identify potential issues relevant to the patient care.
  • 1.3 Sharing information and professional knowledge with both the patient and other professionals, verbally and in writing, including being able to negotiate and give and receive constructive criticism.
  • 1.4 Applying principles of stress management to oneself, to patients and to the dental team as appropriate.
  • 1.5 Have knowledge of behavioral sciences including behavioral factors (including factors such as ethnicity and gender) that facilitate the delivery of dental care.


Domain 2: Knowledge base, Information and Information Literacy

  • 2.1 Apply the knowledge and understand the scientific basis of dentistry, including the relevant biomedical sciences, the mechanisms of knowledge acquisition, scientific method and evaluation of evidence.
  • 2.2 Apply the knowledge and understand the biological and disease processes in the body to a sufficient depth to be able to exploit new emerging biological technologies in clinical practice.
  • 2.3 Apply the knowledge and understand the etiology and processes of oral and cranio-facial pathologies to facilitate their prevention, diagnosis and management.
  • 2.4 Apply the knowledge and understand the Pharmacology and therapeutics relevant to clinical dental practice and its application thereto, and be familiar with pharmacology in general medicine.
  • 2.5 Apply the knowledge and understand the science and the ability to apply dental biomaterials and their limitations and be aware of environmental issues relevant to their use.

Domain3:  Clinical Information gathering, Diagnosis and Treatment Planning

  • 3.1 Obtaining informed consent for all forms of treatment and acknowledging that informed consent serves as a summary of the information provided during an interactive communication process with the patient, parents, caregiver or legal guardian.
  • 3.2 Obtain and interpret the findings of a comprehensive patient interview to assess past and current disease, medical and dental risk status and outcome preferences.
  • 3.3 Perform and interpret the findings of a comprehensive intra and extra oral examination.
  • 3.4 Select, obtain, and interpret diagnostic tools.
  • 3.5 Recognize the manifestations of systemic diseases and how they may impact on the management and provision of dental and cranio-facial care.
  • 3.6 Analyze diagnostic and risk assessment data and formulate comprehensive preventive, treatment and/or referral options and treatment plan to address patients’ needs.


Domain4:  Prevention and Health Promotion

  • 4.1 Applying the principles of health promotion and disease prevention via comprehensive preventive measures to individuals and the community according to their risk assessment status.
  • 4.2 Evaluate and manage current models of oral health care management and delivery.
  • 4.3 Understanding the complex interactions between oral health, nutrition, general health, drugs and diseases that can have an impact on oral health care and oral diseases and vice versa.
  • 4.4 Have knowledge of the organization and provision of health care in the community and in the specialist hospital service in the country of training.
  • 4.5 Have knowledge of the prevalence of the significant / common oral and cranio-facial conditions in the country of training and practice.
  • 4.6 Have knowledge of the social, cultural and environmental factors which contribute to health or illness.
  • 4.7 Have knowledge of the strategies to manage barriers to dental care for medical comprised, disabled, elderly, socially deprived and ethnic minority groups.
  • 4.8 Provide prevention, intervention, and educa­tional strategies.
  • 4.9 Promote health by engaging patients in the management of their own care.

Domain 5: Establishing, and Maintaining Oral health

  • 5.1 Evaluate outcomes of comprehensive dental care, develop recall strategies and determine prognoses.
  • 5.2 Assess and manage the unique needs relating to the oral health care of special needs patients.
  • 5.3 Select and administer or prescribe pharmacological agents in the treatment of dental patients.
  • 5.4 Prevent, diagnose, and manage pain and anxiety in the dental patient.
  • 5.5 Prevent, diagnose, and manage periodontal diseases.
  • 5.6 Prevent, diagnose and manage caries.
  • 5.7 Provide restorative care to preserve tooth structure, replace missing or defective tooth structure, maintain function and esthetics, and promote soft and hard tissue health.
  • 5.8 Prevent, diagnose and manage developmental or acquired malocclusion and space management needs.
  • 5.9 Manage the replacement of missing teeth for the partially or completely edentulous patient.
  • 5.10 Prevent, diagnose and manage pulpal and periradicular diseases.
  • 5.11 Prevent, diagnose and manage oral and cranio-facial soft tissue, osseous disorders, including cancer.
  • 5.12 Recognize and manage medical emergencies.
  • 5.13 Recognize and manage dental emergencies.
  • 5.14 Communicate and manage dental laboratory procedures in support of patient care.
  • 5.15 Employing appropriate management for oro-facial pain, sensory changes, discomfort and psychological distress.

Domain 6: Professionalism

  • 6.1 Acknowledge that the patient is the center of care and that all interactions, including diagnosis, treatment planning and treatment, must focus in the patient’s best interests.
  • 6.2 Apply the principles of ethical decision making, integrity, professional responsibility, and protecting patient confidentiality.
  • 6.3 Utilize critical thinking and problem-solving skills in the care of patients, scientific inquiry and research methodology.
  • 6.4 Evaluate scientific literature and integrate best research outcomes for the delivery of evidence-based patient-centered care.
  • 6.5 To plan and conduct research work, to collect, analyze, and discuss the results based on scientific writing principles.
  • 6.6 Apply principles of ethic, legal and regulatory concepts related to the provision and/or support of oral health care services, including informed consent.
  • 6.7 Apply the basic principles and philosophies of practice management, evaluate models of oral health care management and delivery.
  • 6.8 Understand how to function successfully as the leader of the oral health care team.
  • 6.9 Recognize appropriate professional behavior towards all members of the dental team.
  • 6.10 Utilize self-assessment as a part of ongoing self-directed and lifelong learning.
  • 6.11 Recognizing their own limitations, and refer to a specialist as needed.
  • 6.12 Utilize universal infection control guidelines for all clinical procedures.
  • 6.13 Manage and maintain a safe working environment, with regard to health and safety and clinical risk management.