Adams School of Dentistry: Technical Standards


Adams School of Dentistry: Technical Standards


Personal Attributes and Capabilities Essential for Admission, Promotion, and Certification for Adams School of Dentistry Students and Residents

Students and Residents are expected to have read and understood these standards.


The faculty of the University of North Carolina Adams School of Dentistry (“ASOD”) believe that an ASOD dental provider must possess specific knowledge, skills and abilities. Therefore, to earn their degree and/or certificate, ASOD providers must be competent in the necessary knowledge and application of that knowledge in their clinical professional practice and must relate appropriately to patients and to other health care professionals. The standards described below detail qualifications required in addition to academic and clinical achievements, which the faculty of the School consider essential for successful completion of the educational objectives of its curriculum. Therefore, in order to progress through the program, or be approved for graduation or certification, students and residents must demonstrate the following qualifications with or without reasonable accommodations.

The University is committed to equality of educational opportunity. The University does not discriminate in offering access to its educational programs and activities on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Students and Residents who seek accommodations, either academic or clinical, for disabilities or medical conditions should contact the University’s Office of Accessibility Resources and Service (“ARS”) as soon as possible. ARS will determine eligibility and recommend appropriate accommodations and services. ARS may be reached by phone at 919-962-8300 or by email at In addition, Residents who are affiliated with the Office of Graduate Medical Education (the "GME Office") at UNC Hospitals may be referred to the GME Office for further information regarding available accommodations consistent with applicable GME policies, as appropriate.

A. Attitudinal, Behavioral, Interpersonal, and Emotional Attributes

The dental profession is governed by high ethical values and principles and by state and federal laws. Therefore, an ASOD provider must have the capacity to learn and understand these values and laws and to perform within their guidelines. The provider should be able to relate to colleagues, faculty, staff and patients with honesty, integrity, non-discrimination, self-sacrifice and dedication. The provider should be able to understand and value special privileges and trust inherent in the provider-patient relationship for the patient's benefit, and to know and avoid behaviors that constitute misuse of this power.

The provider should demonstrate the capacity to examine and deliberate effectively about the social and ethical questions that define dentistry and the provider’s roles and to reason critically about these questions. The provider must be able to identify personal reactions and responses, recognize multiple points of view, and integrate these appropriately into clinical decision-making and/or practice.

The ASOD provider must be of sufficient emotional health to utilize fully his/her intellectual ability, to exercise good judgment, to complete patient care responsibilities promptly and professionally, and to relate to patients, families, and colleagues with courtesy, compassion, maturity, and respect for their dignity. The ability to participate collaboratively and flexibly as a professional team member is essential. The provider must be able to function effectively and perform high quality procedures in spite of stressful work, changing environments, and clinical uncertainties. The provider must be able to modify his/her behavior in response to constructive criticism.

The ASOD provider must be open to examining personal attitudes, perceptions and stereotypes (which may negatively affect patient care and professional relationships). The provider must exhibit behavior and intellectual functioning consistent with acceptable professional standards. In the event of deteriorating emotional function, it is essential that an ASOD provider be willing to acknowledge the condition and/or seek appropriate professional help before it poses a danger to self, patients, and colleagues.

B. Stamina

The study and ongoing clinical practice of dentistry or the specific profession often involves a taxing workload and stressful situations. The ASOD provider must have the physical and emotional stamina to maintain a high level of functioning in the face of these likely working conditions.

C. Intellectual Skills

The ASOD provider must possess the intellectual skills that allow him/her to master the complex body of knowledge that comprises their professional education, including the ability to assimilate existing knowledge with additional information from a wide variety of sources and applying such knowledge to clinical practice. ASOD providers must be able to synthesize new knowledge through reasoning and possess the ability to think critically.

The ASOD provider is expected to learn effectively through a variety of modalities, including but not limited to: classroom instruction, small group discussion, individual study of materials, preparation and presentation of written and oral reports, and use of computer-based technology (electronic learning).

The ASOD provider is expected to prepare in advance for scheduled clinical procedures. The routine aspects of these procedures should be anticipated for all clinical activities. These aspects include patient management, procedural events, instrumentation, materials, and foreseeable medical and treatment complications.

D. Communication Skills

The ASOD provider must be able to ask questions, to comprehend answers, to record information about patients accurately, and to educate patients about their oral health. The provider must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently with patients, their families and with other members of the health care team. This requirement applies to spoken and written communication as well as non-verbal communications such as interpretation of facial expressions, affects, and body language.

Mastery of both written and spoken English is required, although providers with hearing or speech disabilities will be given full consideration. In such cases, use of a trained intermediary or other appropriate communication aide may be appropriate if this intermediary functions only as an information conduit and does not serve integrative or interpretive functions.

E. Visual, Auditory, Tactile, and Motor Competencies

The ASOD provider must possess essential visual, auditory, tactile and psychomotor abilities that allow him/her to gather information from various sources. These sources include written material, oral presentations, illustrations, and experiments. The ASOD provider must also possess the skills to observe clinical procedures and demonstrations performed by others, understand patients and their environment, perform clinical examination of a patient, read digital and analog representations of physiologic phenomena, and perform high-quality clinical dental procedures on patients.

F. Professional Standards

The ASOD provider must adhere to all applicable state, federal, and local laws as well as the standards required to maintain accreditation by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (“CODA”). The ASOD provider must conform to the ASOD standards for immunizations and to quality assurance and credentialing activities. The ASOD provider must understand and comply with all policies and procedures related to Protected Health Information (PHI) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The ASOD provider must understand and comply with all policies and procedures related to the documentation, storage, and use of patient records, including radiographic and photographic images, for clinical, educational, and research purposes.

The ASOD resident-provider must maintain an active dental license or dental permit with the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners.

Contact Information

Topic, Officer, and Contact Info Table
Topic Officer Contact Info
Questions about these Technical Standards Vice Dean for Education


Article ID: 131316
Thu 4/8/21 9:06 PM
Tue 12/13/22 3:51 PM
Effective Date
If the date on which this document became/becomes enforceable differs from the Origination or Last Revision, this attribute reflects the date on which it is/was enforcable.
07/08/2021 12:00 AM
Issuing Officer
Name of the document Issuing Officer. This is the individual whose organizational authority covers the policy scope and who is primarily responsible for the policy.
Issuing Officer Title
Title of the person who is primarily responsible for issuing this policy.
Executive Dean for Education
Last Review
Date on which the most recent document review was completed.
07/08/2021 12:00 AM
Last Revised
Date on which the most recent changes to this document were approved.
07/08/2021 12:00 AM
Next Review
Date on which the next document review is due.
07/07/2023 12:00 AM
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
12/03/2019 2:30 PM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.
Adams School of Dentistry

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