I see your true colors shining through: cultural competence for the dental professional

In a country of ever-increasing diversity, clinicians must be equipped to interact with clients of varied cultural backgrounds. Those delivering effective, empathetic health care must be cognizant of the values, beliefs and attitudes toward health that people from various populations hold. The culturally competent oral health provider recognizes that cultural diversity means far more than just ethnicity, and reaching all groups with various barriers can be challenging. This session will present cultural diversity issues, how dental hygienists can become more culturally competent in patient care and ways to use this knowledge for addressing access to care barriers among the population groups discussed. Different models of cultural competency will be explained, and a variety of diverse population beliefs and ideals will be presented, emphasizing communication and incorporation of respect for diverse beliefs. Oral health issues of various cultures will be presented and discussed.