This course focuses on learning to adapt and change in emerging practice areas for dental hygienists that provide care to population groups challenged by access to oral health care. The course emphasizes dental hygiene strategies for the delivery of culturally competent care to pediatric, geriatric, medically compromised and special needs patients. Ethical issues are emphasized regarding care for vulnerable client populations groups. Students learn how to manage a patient with special needs who may require modifications to the traditional treatment plan due to physical limitations, medical complications, developmental problems, and/or cognitive impairments. Students also recognize that patients may present with more than one disability that requires a specific dental treatment plan or use of special equipment or services in order to provide them with a quality of care. Students must understand that health care professionals need to be prepared to accommodate patients with special needs, regarding the type of his or her disability and implement a pre- treatment plan that may need adjustment, based on each patient’s needs.