CDE: [Dean’s Speaker Series] ft. Richard E. Heyman, Ph.D.

Apr, 2021
05:30 PM-07:00 PM

Virtually presented via Zoom Webinar

Time: 5:30-7:00 pm; This virtual lecture will begin promptly at 5:30 pm via Zoom Webinar.
Registration: FREE; Registration is still required.
Register here»
CE Credits: 1.5 lecture credits

Non-pharmacologic Management Strategies for Dental Fear

Course Description

Dental fear negatively affects the health of over 53 million American adults. Standard dental treatment (anti-anxiety medication or anesthesia) is compassionate but maintains the cycle of fear and avoidance. This presentation will discuss the evidence for non-pharmacologic approaches to dental fear. Existing non-pharmacologic treatments are effective but are rarely available in typical practice settings and not easily disseminated. We will cover (a) the basic cognitive-behavioral principles and methods underlying these treatments; (b) universal assessment of dental fear; (c) questions to ask patients with moderate to severe fear; and (d) ways to improve treatment of patients with a variety of dental fear triggers. Finally, we will also cover two promising directions for dental feat treatment currently being researched at PDM, both of which are highly disseminable stepped-care approaches (1) a human-delivered option, comprising a low-intensity level (app + brief interview to foster dentist-patient communication around fear) and higher intensity level (for those needing more intensive treatment — 1 hour of additional in-chair fear treatment from a mental health professional performed in the dentist’s office); and (2) a virtual reality-delivered option, similar to #1 but with the in-chair treatment via a virtual reality program.

Learning Objectives
  • Explain the pros and cons of pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic approaches to dental fear.
  • Describe the basic cognitive-behavioral principles and methods underlying these treatments.
  • Delineate how to assess for dental fear and what questions to ask patients with dental fear.
  • Discuss stepped-care approaches being researched for dental fear.

Dr. Richard E. Heyman is Professor in the Department of Cariology and Comprehensive Care at New York University. He earned a B.S. from Duke University and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Oregon. He’s a licensed psychologist.

Dr. Heyman has received over 60 grants/contracts from major U.S. funding agencies on a variety of topics, from dental fear to social determinants of health to couples communication to community-level prevention of family maltreatment, substance problems, and suicidality. Dr. Heyman has published over 200 scientific articles/chapters on these topics.

At the core of Dr. Heyman’s research is translating basic knowledge into prevention and treatment and on improving adoption of evidence-based practices.

Disclosure: Dr. Heyman has no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

ADA Cerp

University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine 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.

University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine designates this activity for 1.5 continuing education credits.