Dental Treatment of Patients with Mental Disorders

Course #56741 - $72 -


The human mind is complex, and there are many forms of mental illness that affect millions of people in the United States and throughout the world. While strides have been made awareness and treatment of mental illness, stigma and lack of social acceptance remain. Aside from the fact that these conditions are medical illnesses that should be considered in any patient, they can also have systemic and oral effects that specifically impact the provision of dental care. As such, it is incumbent to include discussion and documentation of patients' mental illness and related pharmacotherapy as a part of their medical history. A collaborative effort by the entire interprofessional team in the treatment of patients with mental illness ensure that patients are able to maintain optimal oral health and a high quality of life.

Education Category: Psychiatric / Mental Health
Release Date: 03/01/2024
Expiration Date: 02/28/2027

Table of Contents


This course is designed for all dental professionals in all practice settings.

Accreditations & Approvals

NetCE Nationally Approved PACE Program Provider for FAGD/MAGD credit. Approval does not imply acceptance by any regulatory authority or AGD endorsement. 10/1/2021 to 9/30/2027 Provider ID #217994. NetCE is an ADA CERP Recognized Provider. ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry. Concerns or complaints about a CE provider may be directed to the provider or to ADA CERP at NetCE is approved as a provider of continuing education by the Florida Board of Dentistry, Provider #50-2405. NetCE is a Registered Provider with the Dental Board of California. Provider Number RP3841. Completion of this course does not constitute authorization for the attendee to perform any services that he or she is not legally authorized to perform based on his or her license or permit type.

Designations of Credit

NetCE designates this activity for 8 continuing education credits. AGD Subject Code 153. This course meets the Dental Board of California's requirements for 8 unit(s) of continuing education. Dental Board of California course #08-3841-24413.

Course Objective

In dentistry, mental health disorders are commonly encountered in patients and can impact oral health and the level of care that can be provided. The purpose of this course is to provide dental professionals with the information necessary to identify mental health disorders and to address these issues appropriately.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  1. Describe the most frequently diagnosed mood disorders and potential impact on oral health.
  2. Identify anxiety disorders and considerations for anxiety during dental treatment.
  3. Discuss the presentation of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and impact on dental care.
  4. Review considerations for dental patients with schizophrenia.
  5. Analyze necessary modifications to dental treatment to accommodate the needs of patients with somatoform disorders.
  6. Describe alterations in oral health that may arise from substance use disorders or medications used in their treatment.


Mark J. Szarejko, DDS, FAGD, received his dental degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1985. He received fellowship from the Academy of General Dentistry in 1994.

Faculty Disclosure

Contributing faculty, Mark J. Szarejko, DDS, FAGD, has disclosed no relevant financial relationship with any product manufacturer or service provider mentioned.

Director of Development and Academic Affairs

Sarah Campbell

Director Disclosure Statement

The Director of Development and Academic Affairs has disclosed no relevant financial relationship with any product manufacturer or service provider mentioned.

About the Sponsor

The purpose of NetCE is to provide challenging curricula to assist healthcare professionals to raise their levels of expertise while fulfilling their continuing education requirements, thereby improving the quality of healthcare.

Our contributing faculty members have taken care to ensure that the information and recommendations are accurate and compatible with the standards generally accepted at the time of publication. The publisher disclaims any liability, loss or damage incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents. Participants are cautioned about the potential risk of using limited knowledge when integrating new techniques into practice.

Disclosure Statement

It is the policy of NetCE not to accept commercial support. Furthermore, commercial interests are prohibited from distributing or providing access to this activity to learners.

Technical Requirements

Supported browsers for Windows include Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.0 and up, Mozilla Firefox 3.0 and up, Opera 9.0 and up, and Google Chrome. Supported browsers for Macintosh include Safari, Mozilla Firefox 3.0 and up, Opera 9.0 and up, and Google Chrome. Other operating systems and browsers that include complete implementations of ECMAScript edition 3 and CSS 2.0 may work, but are not supported. Supported browsers must utilize the TLS encryption protocol v1.1 or v1.2 in order to connect to pages that require a secured HTTPS connection. TLS v1.0 is not supported.

Implicit Bias in Health Care

The role of implicit biases on healthcare outcomes has become a concern, as there is some evidence that implicit biases contribute to health disparities, professionals' attitudes toward and interactions with patients, quality of care, diagnoses, and treatment decisions. This may produce differences in help-seeking, diagnoses, and ultimately treatments and interventions. Implicit biases may also unwittingly produce professional behaviors, attitudes, and interactions that reduce patients' trust and comfort with their provider, leading to earlier termination of visits and/or reduced adherence and follow-up. Disadvantaged groups are marginalized in the healthcare system and vulnerable on multiple levels; health professionals' implicit biases can further exacerbate these existing disadvantages.

Interventions or strategies designed to reduce implicit bias may be categorized as change-based or control-based. Change-based interventions focus on reducing or changing cognitive associations underlying implicit biases. These interventions might include challenging stereotypes. Conversely, control-based interventions involve reducing the effects of the implicit bias on the individual's behaviors. These strategies include increasing awareness of biased thoughts and responses. The two types of interventions are not mutually exclusive and may be used synergistically.