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Patient Aggression Toward Dental Students


The majority of oral health care providers have experienced verbal or physical aggression from patients. Others have experienced sexual harassment from patients. These behaviors may be instigated by problematic doctor-patient communication as well as patient anxiety, fear or stress in the dental clinic setting. With training, students are better prepared to identify and respond to patients’ behavior.

Join us for this free webinar where we will discuss how NYU College of Dentistry and the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine studied the prevalence of patient aggression in dental settings. They will also explore strategies to help students and faculty reduce and de-escalate patients’ hostile behavior.

Note: This webinar is based on the article “Patient aggression toward dentalstudents” from ADEA’s Journal of Dental Education as well as a forthcoming article on the prevalence of patient aggression toward dental students during the COVID pandemic.

Learning Objectives:

  • Recognize the prevalence of patient aggression in dental settings.
  • Discuss the factors that contribute to patient aggression.
  • Identify strategies to address and reduce patient aggression.

CE information:
The American Dental Education Association is an ADA CERP Recognized Provider.

An evaluation form is available to participants after the conclusion of the webinar. To earn continuing education (CE) credit for participation in the webinar, the online evaluation must be completed in full by April 29, 2024. After completing the evaluation, webinar participants can print and save the CE Verification Form.

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.

The American Dental Education Association designates this activity for 1.0 continuing education credit.

All speakers agree that neither they nor members of their immediate family have any financial relationships with commercial entities that may be relevant to their presentation.


  • Richard E. Heyman, Ph.D.

    Dr. Heyman is Professor in the Department of Cariology and Comprehensive Care at NYU College of Dentistry. He earned a B.S. from Duke University and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Oregon. He is a licensed psychologist. Dr. Heyman has received over 60 grants/contracts from major U.S. funding agencies on a variety of topics, including dental fear, social determinants of health, couples’ communication and community-level prevention. He has published over 200 scientific articles/chapters. At the core of Dr. Heyman’s research is translating basic knowledge into prevention and treatment and improving adoption of evidence-based practices.

  • Kimberly Rhoades, Ph.D.

    Dr. Rhoades is a research scientist with the Family Translational Research Group NYU College of Dentistry. Her training and background are in social and health psychology and prevention science. Dr. Rhoades’ research interests focus on the etiology of interpersonal aggression and violence and associated behaviors; translating basic knowledge about family and biobehavioral processes, into preventive interventions to benefit children and families; and understanding the processes by which preventive interventions are disseminated, implemented, brought to scale, and sustained over time.

  • Mark S. Wolff, D.D.S., Ph.D., Morton Amsterdam Dean

    Dr. Wolff is the Morton Amsterdam Dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, a Professor in the Department of Preventative and Restorative Dentistry, a celebrated dental educator, a globally engaged scholar and a deeply experienced clinician. Dr. Wolff has completed numerous international research and oral health assessment programs. He has been a lifelong advocate and dental provider for individuals with physical, intellectual and developmental disabilities of all ages. He has served as the investigator on multiple research projects, including investigations on social determinants of health. He has co-authored over 100 scientific papers, text chapters and edited textbooks.

April 29, 2021
Thu 12:00 PM EDT

Duration 1H 0M

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