Trauma-informed approach to care in the dental setting

This course will explain trauma-informed care which recognizes and responds to the awareness that trauma is pervasive, and dental health-care provider patients may require a shift in the way treatment is provided. 

3 CE Credits

A peer-reviewed course written by Kandice Swarthout, RDH, LPC


Dental professionals are well trained in the art of patient communication and building relationships. As research and awareness around mental health progresses, it is important that clinicians evolve and adjust communication styles to serve the needs of patients. Trauma-informed care is the process in which the dental health-care provider (DHCP) approaches every patient as if they are survivors of former trauma that has the potential to be triggered in the dental chair. Trauma-informed care recognizes and responds to the awareness that trauma is pervasive, and patients may require a shift in the way treatment is provided. DHCPs who maintain a trauma-informed mindset can avoid retraumatizing patients and assist in building resilience so that the patient can escape or avoid the vicious cycle of dental fear.

“Trauma-informed approach to care in the dental setting” Educational objectives

  • Describe how previous trauma affects patients in the dental office
  • Understand the neurobiological responses to trauma
  • List the key factors in creating a safe space and empowering patients who are victims of trauma
  • Utilize modes of patient communication and approaches that reduce retraumatization
  • Define the key components to implementing trauma-informed care in the dental setting

Kandice Swarthout, RDH, LPC, is a licensed professional counselor and registered dental hygienist. She is a full-time dental hygiene educator in Texas. Kandice is the owner of Inspired Education & Wellness where she is a speaker, writer, and private practice therapist. She combines her clinical dental and mental health experience to help other health-care professionals have a fulfilling work-life experience. Read her articles in Dentistry IQ, Today’s RDH, and her blog on Facebook titled Fearless Compassion: Stories of Personal Triumph. Contact Kandice at or on social media @The Counselor Hygienist.

1209425897 © KatarzynaBialasiewicz |
Quick Access Code: 22002

Not Enrolled

Course Includes

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

    Course Type: Written

    Published Date: February 2022

    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: 03-5933-22002. Expires January 2025. “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: 153


    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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