39. Links between sexual assault and dental appointments: patient management guidelines… Dr Sharonne Zaks


Saturday 4th May, 8:15 AM – 9:00 AM, HALL E

SKU: ADC2019-3MSP03 Category: Tag:


Dental appointments are a common trigger for memories of sexual assault and trauma to resurface as they have many similarities. Hence the widespread avoidance of dentists by survivors who often have poor oral health. A significant portion of our patients have this history and we usually won’t be informed. We have an ethical responsibility to recognise potential survivors and sensitively handle the complexities involved in their care.

Learning Outcomes:

Defining psychological trauma and how it changes the brain: why survivors avoid dentists.

How to recognise the unique combination of fears and behaviours that characterise a history of sexual assault and how these differ from other causes of dental anxiety.

Practical approaches for working with survivors before, during and after appointments, for both dentists and our teams.

How to respond sensitively if a patient discloses a history of sexual assault to us and where to refer them for further support.

Additional information