Working with Fearful and Anxious Dental Patients, 2nd Edition


About the Course 
The purpose of this intermediate-level course is to familiarize the dentist and every member of the dental team with nonpharmacological techniques and strategies for guiding and supporting fearful dental patients. The course will address the nature and prevalence of dental fear and how to identify and guide the fearful patient. The learner will be made aware of the ways in which their own behavior, demeanor, and appearance, as well as the ambiance of the dental office, may contribute to dental fear. The learner will be introduced to various behavioral and cognitive patient guidance techniques that can be employed to allay patients’ anxieties and reduce the practitioner’s stress when confronted with a fearful patient. These techniques and strategies include, but are not limited to, communication, distraction, imaging, relaxation, tell-show-do, acupuncture, hypnosis, and biofeedback. The course will also address nonpharmacological guidance techniques best suited to address the special needs of fearful children, persons with cognitive or physical impairment, and older adults. At the end of the course, the learner will be able to identify the advantages and limitations of nonpharmacological guidance techniques and determine the most appropriate strategy for each fearful patient. The ability to complete dental treatment for fearful patients enhances their oral health and quality of life. Training, mastering, and applying one or more of the techniques discussed in this course will benefit the patient and the dental team. 

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the learner will be able to:

  • Discuss the types, etiology, and significance of dental fear.
  • Identify behavioral signs and symptoms to recognize the fearful patient.
  • Describe nonpharmacological guidance techniques for fearful adult patients.
  • Describe nonpharmacological behavior guidance for fearful pediatric patients.
  • Describe nonpharmacological strategies for use with fearful older adult patients and patients with special needs. .

About the Author 
Mark J. Szarejko, DDS, FAGD, received a bachelor’s degree in biology from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York, and a DDS from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1985. He has been a fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry since 1994 and a certified correctional healthcare professional since 2007. Dr. Szarejko has more than 35 years of dental experience in New York and Florida. He is currently staff dentist at the Hillsborough County Jail in Tampa, Florida, and has been an examiner for the State of Florida dental and dental hygiene examinations since 1994. Dr. Szarejko has presented nationally on correctional health care and has authored more than 30 continuing education courses. 

How to Receive Credit

  • Read the entire course online or in print which requires a 2-hour commitment of time. 
  • After completion of the course, complete the final examination.  A passing grade of 75% is required. Test questions link content to learning outcomes as a method to enhance individualized learning and material retention. 
  • Note to Nursing professionals: Depending on your state requirements, you will be asked to either affirm that you have completed the course, or you will be required to complete the Post-test included in the course.
  • Provide required personal information and payment information.
  • Complete the mandatory course evaluation.
  • Print your Certificate of Completion.

Resolution of Conflict of Interest
Colibri Healthcare, LLC implemented mechanisms prior to the planning and implementation of the continuing education activity, to identify and resolve conflicts of interest for all individuals in a position to control content of the course activity.

Sponsorship/Commercial Support and Non-Endorsement
It is the policy of Colibri not to accept commercial support. Furthermore, commercial interests are prohibited from distributing or providing access to this activity to learners.

The information provided in this activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a healthcare provider relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition.
©2024: All Rights Reserved. Materials may not be reproduced without the expressed written permission or consent of Colibri Healthcare, LLC. The materials presented in this course are meant to provide the consumer with general information on the topics covered. The information provided was prepared by professionals with practical knowledge of the areas covered. It is not meant to provide medical, legal, or professional advice. Colibri Healthcare, LLC recommends that you consult a medical, legal, or professional services expert licensed in your state. Colibri Healthcare, LLC has made all reasonable efforts to ensure that all content provided in this course is accurate and up to date at the time of printing but does not represent or warrant that it will apply to your situation nor circumstances and assumes no liability from reliance on these materials. Quotes are collected from customer feedback surveys. The models are intended to be representative and not actual customers.

Accreditations and Approvals
Colibri Healthcare, LLC is designated as a Nationally Approved PACE Program Provider for FAGD/MAGD credit. Approval does not imply acceptance by any regulatory authority or AGD endorsement. Current approval period is 1/1/2022 to 12/31/2025; Provider ID# 217536.

Colibri Healthcare, LLC 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.

AGD Subject Code - 153