A Mediator’s DIY Guide to Conflict Resolution in the Dental Office

Too often, conflicts in a dental practice are addressed in one of two ways—by ignoring them and hoping they’ll go away (they won’t), or by coming down too hard, overmanaging or firing people, hoping that will fix the problem (it won’t).

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A peer-reviewed article written by Sharon Dolak, RDH


Too often, conflicts in a dental practice are addressed in one of two ways—by ignoring them and hoping they’ll go away (they won’t), or by coming down too hard, overmanaging or firing people, hoping that will fix the problem (it won’t). There are proven methods that can help restore peace and cooperation in the practice. Rescue your workplace relationships, maintain a supportive environment, and prevent future issues by getting to the heart of the matter so you can have a happier, more productive work environment. This course gives dental professionals the tools needed to resolve conflict and encourage candid communications.

Educational objectives

  • Define conflicts in terms of incompatible needs, goals, beliefs, and values
  • Enumerate the stages of conflict and why we get stuck
  • Clarify the importance of interests (versus positions)
  • List ground rules that set the stage for productive conflict resolution
  • Define the difference between assertive, aggressive, and passive communication
  • Identify the steps of a collaborative, cooperative problem-solving process
  • Empower employees to defuse future conflicts—before they take root

Sharon Dolak, RDH,

specializes in teaching dental workplace communication techniques that reduce tension, salvage professional relationships, and help resolve costly, chronic disputes. Dolak received her mediation certificate in 2006 from Texas Woman’s University and her mediation dispute resolution from Mediators Without Borders. In 2013, she completed Mediation Dynamics training that satisfies the standards of the Texas Mediation Trainers Roundtable and Texas Mediator Credentialing Association, the highest credentials for mediators in the state of Texas. A practicing registered dental hygienist for more than 30 years, she teaches a unique blend of evidence-based mediation skills and real-world, practical insights gleaned from experiences in the dental world. Dolak offers in-house mediation to dental practices throughout the United States. She also offers “Be Your Own Mediator,” an engaging presentation that teaches the team to resolve conflict in the office and home. Dolak can be reached at (817) 781-7910, sharon@sharondolakmediation.com, or visit dentaldisputeresolution.com.

Not Enrolled
This course is currently closed$39.00

Course Includes

  • 10 Lessons
  • 1 Test
  • Course Certificate
  • CE credit(s): 3

    Course Type: Written

    Published Date: March 2020

    This continuing education (CE) activity was developed by Endeavor Business Media with no commercial support.

    This course was written for dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants, from novice to skilled.

    Educational methods: This course is a self-instructional journal and web activity.

    Provider disclosure: Endeavor Business Media neither has a leadership position nor a commercial interest in any products or services discussed or shared in this educational activity. No manufacturer or third party had any input in the development of the course content.

    Requirements for successful completion: To obtain 3 CE credits for this educational activity, you must pay the required fee, review the material, complete the course evaluation, and obtain an exam score of 70% or higher.

    CE planner disclosure: Laura Winfield, Endeavor Business Media dental group CE coordinator, neither has a leadership nor commercial interest with the products or services discussed in this educational activity. Ms. Winfield can be reached at lwinfield@endeavorb2b.com.

    Educational disclaimer: Completing a single continuing education course does not provide enough information to result in the participant being an expert in the field related to the course topic. It is a combination of many educational courses and clinical experience that allows the participant to develop skills and expertise.

    Image authenticity statement: The images in this educational activity have not been altered.

    Scientific integrity statement: Information shared in this CE course is developed from clinical research and represents the most current information available from evidence-based dentistry.

    Known benefits and limitations of the data: The information presented in this educational activity is derived from the data and information contained in the reference section.

    Registration: The cost of this CE course is $59.00 for 3 CE credits.

    Cancellation and refund policy: Any participant who is not 100% satisfied with this course can request a full refund by contacting Endeavor Business Media in writing.

    Provider information:

    Dental Board of California: Provider RP5933. Course registration number CA code: 03-4527-15427. Expires February 2023. “This course meets the Dental Board of California’s requirements for 3 units of continuing education.”


    Endeavor Business Media is a nationally approved PACE program provider for FAGD/MAGD credit.
    Approval does not imply acceptance by any regulatory authority or AGD endorsement.
    11/1/2022 to 10/31/2024.
    Provider ID# 320452
    AGD code: 550


    Endeavor Business Media is designated as an approved Provider by the American Academy of Dental Hygiene, Inc. #AADHPNW (January 1, 2022–December 31, 2024). Approval does not imply acceptance by a state or provincial Board of Dentistry. Licensee should maintain this document in the event of an audit. AADH code:


    Endeavor Business Media 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 dental continuing education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry.

    Concerns or complaints about a CE provider may be directed to the provider or to CERP at ada.org/goto/cerp.



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