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  • Dentists
  • Dental Hygienists
  • Dental Assisting
Hours: 3 Contact Hours
Author(s): Ellen Dietz-Bourguignon, BS, CDA-Emeritus
Peer Reviewer(s): Veronica Powers, DMD
Item#: L0756
Contents: 1 Course Book (30 pages)
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Reducing Patient Stress: Nonpharmacological Methods, 2nd Edition

Price $29.95
Item # L0756
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

Release Date: July 30, 2013

Review Date: July 8, 2016

Expiration Date: July 7, 2019


One of the most difficult challenges facing today’s dental practitioner is convincing the public of the necessity for routine dental care. Although there may be many reasons for patients not seeking routine care (or any treatment other than emergency intervention), the most commonly cited reasons are fear of pain and anxiety about the treatment.

Thus, there is a demonstrated need for the dental practitioner to have available as many techniques and therapies as possible to solicit and treat anxious patients. Before examining nonpharmacological methods for helping patients relax, it is necessary to examine predisposing factors for dental anxiety, as well as for anxiety in general.

Appropriate for all dental professionals, this basic-level course describes anxiety and its relationship to dental pain. A variety of nonpharmacological therapies and their benefits are presented, including auditory and visual programming, hypnosis, biofeedback, acupuncture, and brainwave entrainment. The course ends with a discussion of the effective “people skills” that all members of the dental team can use to help reduce patient anxiety.


AGD Subject Code: 153


Western Schools designates this activity for 3 continuing education credits.



Course Objectives

  • Describe anxiety and its relationship to dental pain.
  • Discuss nonpharmacological therapies used to reduce dental anxiety.
  • Identify “people skills” that can be used effectively to reduce dental anxiety.


Ellen Dietz-Bourguignon, BS, CDA-Emeritus, earned her bachelor of science degree in allied health education in dental auxiliary utilization and a community college teaching certificate from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She began her dental career as an associate-degreed certified dental assistant in private practice. Following a 7-year dental assisting teaching career at Orange County Community College, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Erie County Board of Cooperative Educational Services, and Niagara County Community College, she began writing on dental topics for Dental Assisting Magazine, eventually rising to the position of managing editor. Ms. Dietz-Bourguignon has worked in dental marketing, project management, and product development at Semantodontics and in legal administration for the Arizona State Board of Dental Examiners. She has published five books in the dental assisting market, including Dental Office Management and Safety Standards and Infection Control for Dental Assistants, and has been keynote speaker at the American Dental Assistants Association Annual Session. Her articles have appeared in numerous journals, including The Dental Assistant, Dentist, The Dental Student, Dental Economics, RDH, and Dental Teamwork.


Veronica Powers, DMD, received a BS degree from Providence College and a DMD degree from the Oregon Health & Science University. After working for four years as a general dentist in Portland, Oregon, Dr. Powers returned to New York City to serve as lead dentist for Phoenix House Foundation in Brooklyn, New York, where she provided comprehensive treatment for the residents of a rehabilitation facility. In this capacity, she performed simple and surgical extractions and root canals and placed crowns, bridges, and removable prosthodontics. Dr. Powers created the protocol for the day-to-day management of the clinic and became especially adept at treating anxious patients. Now in private practice, Dr. Powers is licensed to practice dentistry in the state of New York, maintains registration with the Drug Enforcement Administration, and is CPR-certified. She has provided volunteer dentistry in India and in Chiapas, Mexico, and has worked with the American Dental Association’s Give Kids a Smile program in the United States.

  • 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.