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Psychology in Dentistry

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  1. Psychology in Dentistry Alan G. Glaros, Ph.D. Associate Dean Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences

  2. The Learners I • Enrolled in over 50 schools • About 4,400 graduates/year • 42% female • 12% underrepresented minority • Bright, motivated, enthusiastic • 3.35 science GPA Weaver et al., 2005

  3. The Learners II • Good at memorization • Different motivations • Good visuo-spatial skills • Tech savvy? • Mandatory laptop programs in about 25% of dental schools • On-line database searching relatively rare Hendricson et al., 2006; Romanov & Aarnio, 2006

  4. Required Training • Nationwide training • Cultural competency • UMKC School of Dentistry • Discipline-based courses • Patient interviewing and management Henzi et al., 2007

  5. Dentistry and Health • Consistent brushing and flossing and routine dental hygiene critical to maintenance of oral health • Psychology as thescience of behavior

  6. Psychology and Dentistry • Communications skills and rapport building • Dental fears Eitner et al., 2006Lahti et al., 2007

  7. Psychology and Dentistry • Pain • Acute • Chronic • Temporomandibular disorders • Neuralgias • Oral parafunctional behaviors • Clenching • Grinding (“bruxism”) Drangsholt & LeResche, 1999; Glaros et al., 2005

  8. Psychology and Dentistry • Special needs populations • Mentally challenged • Chronically ill • Geriatrics • Public health • Community interventions John et al., 2007

  9. Psychology and Dentistry • Quality of life • Craniofacial abnormalities • Edentualism • Esthetic dentistry • Orthodontics • Crowns, veneers • Reconstruction Gordon et al., 2004; Lee et al., 2007

  10. Psychology Skills Useful for Dental Students • Communication • Fear/anxiety management • Management of disruptive child • Patient interventions to enhance self-care • Motivational interviewing • Pain management

  11. Psychology Skills for Dental Educators • Learning how to use handpiece • Proprioception • Visual learning Diaz et al., 2001; Wierinck et al., 2006

  12. Challenges With Dental Students • Curriculum very technique-oriented • Does not foster cognitive skills • Psychology not seen as “scientific” or practical enough

  13. Institutional Challenges • Off-site psychologists • Less attuned to issues faced by dental students • Curricular time

  14. Potential Solutions • Collaborative relationships essential • “Teach the Teacher” • Observational modeling

  15. Preparing for the Future • Systems-based curriculum • Multi-disciplinary • Integrated • Comprehensive • Focus on the whole person Willsie, 2004

  16. Role for APA • Encourage shift to systems-based curriculum • Advocate for research funding • Educational research • Visual learning • Liaison to ADEA • Remember dentistry