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04-5631-20044: Managing the Pediatric Dental Patient

Course Abstract:

Contact Hours (CE): The Academy of Dental Learning and OSHA Training, LLC, designates this activity for 4 continuing education credits (4 CEs).
Questions? Contact Us: Phone: 800-522-1207, Fax: 800-886-3009, or Email:
Published: October 2012
Updated: November 2020
Expires: December 2023
Course Instructor: Anne P. Dodds, BDS, MPH, PhD.
Health Science Editor: Megan Wright, RDH, MS
No conflicts of interest are reported by the author or by educational planning committee members.

Educational Objectives

  • Describe the behavior management goals for pediatric dental patients and other patient groups whose behavior requires management to permit the delivery of quality dental care
  • Describe and perform techniques of Basic Behavior Guidance
  • Describe techniques of Advanced Behavior Management

Course Description

The goals of behavior management in dentistry are to establish effective communication, to alleviate patient fear and anxiety and build a trusting relationship with the patient that will ultimately allow the dentist to deliver quality dental care and promote in the patient a positive attitude towards dental care and oral health. Behavioral management of this diverse group (including children and adolescents under age 21 years, patients who present behavioral challenges due to mental, physical or medical disabilities) has been traditionally considered to fall into two areas, Basic Behavior Guidance Techniques and Advanced Behavior Guidance. This course examines each of these areas in detail and offers advice in the use of basic management techniques (Tell-show-do (TSD), modeling and distraction) that can be applied in the dental office. Also includes update in 2015 for Ask-Tell-Ask technique, meant to empower child more as a proactive participant. Advanced management modalities (physical management, aversive management and pharmacologic management) are discussed but their use will require further training to satisfy professional board requirements.

About the Authors

Anne P Dodds BDS, MPH, PhD. Dr Dodds graduated from the University of Edinburgh Dental School and following two years in a community dental practice moved to San Antonio Texas in 1987. She obtained an MPH at the UTHSC- Houston and secured a teaching appointment at the UTHSC-San Antonio in the Dept of Community Dentistry. She obtained a Certificate of Pediatric Dentistry from San Antonio in 2000 and PhD in Cellular and Structural Biology in 2001. Since 2000 she has been a faculty member at the University of North Carolina, Dept of Pediatric Dentistry where she has carried out research in early dental development and treated patients in Dental Faculty Practice and UNC Hospital. She has been involved in AHEC and has written dental continuing education classes for more than 10 years.
Ms. Wright is a continuing education editor and writer as well as a Temp PRN with agencies in the Washington State area. Ms. Wright earned her MS at the UNM and Pierce College of Washington State in 1997 and certification in Utilization of the 970 Diode Laser and Safety in Dentistry in February of 2015. Ms. Wright works to implement Dental Education seminars as a Hospital-Dental Liaison building collaborative, mutual efforts to promote patient wellness between medical practitioners and dentists while prioritizing care for untreated, medially compromised patients.

How to Take This Course

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Contact Hours: 4.00
Price: $40.00

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