Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Dental Implications and Management, 2nd Ed. - L0798


About Course #L0798

Release Date: December 2, 2016

Expiration Date: December 1, 2019

Traumatic events have lasting effects on some individuals, causing repeated re-experiences of the events as nightmares or flashbacks, and even coping mechanisms such as avoidance of trauma-related stimuli, numbed responsiveness, and increased alertness to surroundings. These symptoms describe a condition known as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which often follows the experience or witnessing of life-threatening events such as terrorist incidents, military combat, natural disasters, serious accidents, or violent personal assaults. Such experiences are quite common and have been identified throughout recorded human history.

With the United States' continued military action around the world and increasing instances globally and domestically of terrorist attacks, mass shootings, and other violent events, dental professionals may see increasing numbers of trauma survivors with PTSD as part of their patient population. Therefore, dental professionals should be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of PTSD and its possible dental implications. This basic-level course provides an overview of PTSD, including its causes, physical and mental symptoms, and oral manifestations. The course discusses the treatment of PTSD and management of its dental consequences. In addition, the occurrence of PTSD in dental personnel (e.g., forensic dentists) who are involved in recovery efforts following a traumatic event is discussed.

AGD Subject Code: 153

Course Objectives

  • Outline the causes of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Identify the symptoms of PTSD, including re-experience of the traumatic event, avoidance, numbing, hyperarousal, and comorbid conditions.
  • Describe PTSD-related oral manifestations, including bruxism, tooth wear, and periodontal disease.
  • Outline the treatment of PTSD and management of its dental manifestations.
  • Describe PTSD in health professionals involved in forensic dental identification.

Western Schools designates this activity for 3 continuing education credits.

About the Author(s)

John F. Kross, MSc, DMD, received his doctorate in dental medicine from Temple University School of Dentistry in Philadelphia. He completed a fellowship at Temple University Hospital in oral oncology and received a hospital appointment to the Department of Dentistry at the Medical Centers of Delaware (now the Christiana Care Health System). His professional training and experience include practicing general dentistry in Wilmington, Delaware, and in New London, Pennsylvania, as well as instructing students at Delaware Technical Community College in oral pathology. Dr. Kross has received numerous academic awards for his work in oral surgery, fixed partial prosthodontics, periodontics, and endodontics. He has been composing monographs, manuscripts, and continuing medical education courses since 1991.

Course Disclosures

  • Courses must be completed on or before the expiration date noted in the course description above.
  • You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course and receive a certificate of completion.
  • Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that the course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools' policy not to accept commercial support.
  • All persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.
  • There are no prerequisites for this course.