Bariatric surgery patients: Dental considerations

This course highlights clinical findings and dental considerations that may present in patients who have had bariatric surgery.

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A peer-reviewed article written by Kelly Divito, RDH, BSDH


As the rate of obesity climbs in the United States, so does the rate at which people have bariatric surgery. The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) estimates that, in 2017 alone, more than 220,000 people had bariatric surgery.1 Dental clinicians, whether aware of it or not, have likely treated patients who have had this type of surgery. There is a stigma with weight-loss surgery (WLS) that causes some people to keep it private. Unfortunately, presurgical patients are not required to have dental clearance, and they are not educated on preventive dental treatment, including how their postsurgical diet will affect their oral and dental health. This course highlights clinical findings and dental considerations that may present in patients who have had bariatric surgery. The author collected anecdotal evidence through anonymous online surveys completed by post-bariatric-surgery patients and dental professionals that examine dental experiences from both patient and clinician viewpoints.

Educational objectives

At the conclusion of this educational activity, participants will be able to:

1. Define bariatric surgery

2. Describe the different bariatric surgeries

3. Articulate dental considerations with weight-loss-surgery patients

4. Assess pre- and postoperative dental risk factors

5. Identify clinical signs of vitamin deficiency

6. Gain confidence in speaking to patients about bariatric surgery and dental considerations

Kelly Divito, RDH,BSDH, graduated from The Ohio State University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science degree in dental hygiene. She is a member of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, American Academy of Oral and Systemic Health, the Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention, and is a founding member of the National Network of Healthcare Hygienists. She has served as secretary of her local dental hygiene component board in Northern Virginia. Kelly is a board member at large of the Ohio State University College of Dentistry Dental Alumni Society Board of Governors. She has been a professional educator on behalf of WaterPik since 2017. Kelly has practiced clinically in general, periodontal, prosthodontic, orthodontic, and public health settings. She is active in the military community as a volunteer. Her passions include education, research, philanthropy, and evidenced-based practice. Kelly lives in Maryland with her husband and son. She can be reached at

Image credit: Guniita |

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This course is currently closed$59.00

Course Includes

  • 1 Lesson
  • 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

    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 $39.00 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: 03-4527-15430. 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: 150, 750


    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



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