Western Society of Pediatric Dentistry

Understanding and Managing General Anxiety and Dental Care-Related Anxiety in Children and Adolescents

Maximizing Well-Being to Thrive as a Pediatric Dentist: Insights from Psychological Science



Cedarbrook Lodge

18525 36th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98188


Registration Fee:
WSAPD/ AAPD member: $350
Non WSAPD/AAPD member: $450
Residents of Washington State Pediatric Dentistry Programs: Lecture provided at no cost to resident. Registration required.


Course Description


Drawing on contemporary research and best practice, this two-part course will focus on timely and important topics at the intersection of mental health and pediatric dentistry.


Part I – Understanding and Managing General Anxiety and Dental Care-Related Anxiety in Children and Adolescents


Rates of general anxiety have increased in recent years among children and adolescents. In addition to being distressing and impairing for pediatric patients and their caregivers, this anxiety represents a growing focus and challenge for dentists providing person-centered care. At the same time, dental care-related anxiety, specifically, continues to be a focus and challenge in pediatric dentistry. This session will introduce learners to foundational concepts in pediatric mental health, addressing the etiology, epidemiology, and treatment of general anxiety, including practice-related and interprofessional considerations. Then, the session will introduce learners to key background and conceptual issues necessary for understanding dental care-related anxiety as well as basic and advanced approaches for its management.


Learning Objectives:

       Explain the causes and impacts of pediatric general anxiety, relevant epidemiological trends, and implications for pediatric dental practice.

       Describe the etiology and epidemiology of dental care-related anxiety and the key conceptual considerations relevant to addressing it as a pediatric dentist.

       Understand and apply basic and advanced evidence-based approaches for managing pediatric dental care-related anxiety.


Part II – Maximizing Well-Being to Thrive as a Pediatric Dentist: Insights from Psychological Science


While life as a pediatric dentist is often invigorating, rewarding, and fun, it can also be demanding and quite stressful. Excessive and unmanaged stress can lead to difficulty and dissatisfaction with work, burnout, and mental and physical health problems. Drawing on psychological research—and framed in the context of ethical practice, professionalism, and stewardship of the pediatric dentistry workforce—this session will illuminate the nature and impact of stress on healthcare providers. Learners will be taught evidence-based principals and practical skills for stress management, along with strategies for sustainably applying these principles and integrating these skills to achieve resilience. Considering implications for practice management, this session will also review approaches pediatric dentists can use to encourage their colleagues and staff to thrive, as well.


Learning Objectives:

       Explain stress and its causes and consequences, distinguishing between acute and chronic stress.

       Understand and apply evidence-based strategies for coping with stressors and achieving well-being.

       Describe and employ approaches for promoting wellness among colleagues and staff.


7:30-8:00am Registration & Breakfast
8:00-9:00am Business Meeting
9:00am-12:00pm Lecture
12:00-1:00pm Lunch

Cameron L. Randall, PhD, is a clinical health psychologist and Assistant Professor of Oral Health Sciences at the University of Washington School of Dentistry in Seattle. His NIH-funded research focuses on pain, dental fear, health behavior, and providers’ implementation of evidence-based practice. He has published more than 50 refereed articles and chapters on these topics, and his scholarly work has been recognized with awards from the NIH and the International Association for Dental Research, among others. 

Dr. Randall also researches and speaks nationally and internationally on topics related to workforce wellness. He serves in leadership positions in the International Association for Dental Research and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and he is a member of the editorial boards for Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology and JDR Clinical and Translational Research. He was a lead author on the Consensus Statement on Future Directions for the Behavioral and Social Sciences in Oral Health and was a contributor for the recently released NIH Report, Oral Health in America. Dr. Randall completed his undergraduate studies (BS) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, his graduate studies (MS, PhD) at West Virginia University, and his clinical psychology internship training at the University of Washington, where he was a resident in behavioral medicine and neuropsychology.