Kings College London

Managing dental fear - book now for new e-learning course

A team of social and behavourial scientists at King’s College London Dental Institute have launched a new online course that teaches dental professionals how to manage anxious patients using non-pharmacological methods. 

The course runs twice a year, with start dates in March and October. The course is delivered be delivered flexibly and entirely online over six weeks; providing 5 hours learning time a week. A total of 30 hours verifiable Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credit is offered to completing participants and King's alumni are eligigable for a 15% discount on the course fees.

Despite huge advances in pain management, fear of dental treatment is still very common. Approximately one in four adults in the United Kingdom avoids dental treatment as a result of anxiety, while phobic levels of fear are found in approximately one in 20 adults. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques are an evidence-based way to help patients manage and overcome dental fear in a time- and cost efficient manner.

‘eCognitive Behavioural Techniques for the Management of Dental Fear’ provides an integrated approach to the therapy and management of patients with dental fear with particular reference to the principles of CBT, as well as providing hands-on guidance in how to set-up a dental fear behavioural management service. It has been based on the Dental Institute’s hugely successful face-to-face course ‘Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for dental fear’.

Dr Koula Asimakopoulou, Senior Lecturer in Health Psychology, and Professor Tim Newton, Professor of Psychology as Applied to Dentistry are the lead academics for the new course; with online tutoring from Dr Suzanne Scott (Senior Lecturer in Health Psychology) and Dr Jennifer Hare (Health Psychologist), who works within the Dental Health Psychology Service in Sedation & Special Care Dentistry at Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Trust. 

What will you get out of the course?

Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to demonstrate:

  • A knowledge of cognitive behavioural approaches to the management of dental phobia
  • Skills in assessment, planning and engaging in the management of individuals with dental phobia
  • Increased awareness in how to use these techniques in various settings
  • A resource pack that includes the assessment materials, photos, videos and intervention tools used within the service

Who is the course for?

The course has been designed for general dental practitioners, specialist dental practitioners, all other dental care professionals, consultants in dental public health, psychologists, nurses and other professionals treating or planning to treat dental fear. Through practice sessions, case studies and problem-centred learning, participants will develop their skills in assessing anxious patients and developing therapy plans, including graded exposure and cognitive interventions.

Participants are expected to have a basic understanding of dental anxiety so that they will be able to apply the course contents to their own area of dental practice. Direct contact with patients is not required.

Online application is now open, please find more information and how to apply on the King’s online prospectus or contact the Jennifer Hare (




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