CE Course 10 - Abstract

Mental Illness and the Dental Patient

Credit: Continuing Education Hours: 2
If you have specific questions about the CE requirements in your state, or if you're not sure if the course will be accepted, please consult your state dental board.

To read this full CE course and take the test you must pay for the course.


Virtually every oral health care practice includes patients with mental illness. This continuing education (CE) course gives a practical overview of common psychiatric disorders, their effects on oral and dental health, and conditions associated with mental illness that affect oral health treatment. Following a brief description of mental illnesses, information on conducting a mental health interview and making a psychiatric referral are provided. Oral health problems associated with mental illness and factors affecting treatment delivery are discussed, as well as ideas for avoiding potentially dangerous medication interactions and working with fearful, suspicious, or cognitively impaired patients. Ways in which dental hygienists can work with case managers to provide much needed oral health care to patients whose illness is severe or chronic are covered. Examples are given of work with clients illustrating principles described in the text.

The purpose of this course is to provide oral health personnel the information they need to knowledgeably care for patients who have mental illness. Successful completion will be assessed with a post-test to be completed after reading the article in its entirety, including figures and case-reports. Two continuing education course credit hours will be awarded following successful completion of the post-test.