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CE Showcase Supporting Your Practice

Patients with Eating Disorders: Challenges for the Oral Health Professional


Dr. David Clark, Director of Dental Services at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences in Whitby, spoke with Dr. Suham Alexander about his upcoming session at PDC 2017


Dr. Clark’s session runs on March  March 9, 2017 between 1:30 and 4:00 pm.

Eating disorders represent a serious, life threatening illness. The etiology of eating disorders is complex, involving an intricate interplay among biological, psychological and social issues as well as possible genetic predispositions. While food appears to be the central issue, it is really the characterization of food-related problems that become an outlet for the expression of a variety of more serious underlying issues resulting as a problematic coping strategy. Oral manifestations of eating disorders can impair oral function, cause pain and lead to a deterioration of quality of life.

1. Demonstrate the impact of eating disorders on oral health.
2. Show how psychotropic medications might interact with drugs used in dentistry.
3. Demonstrate how oral health problems can be side effects of numerous psychotropic medications.
4. Understand the disabilities and stigma associated with eating disorders.
5. Develop comfort and empathy in discussing mental health issues with patients, colleagues and staff.



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