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Brain, Behaviour, and Dentistry

Improve your patient care as you learn to navigate the behaviour and brain functions commonly associated with dental treatment.

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Gain an understanding of patient behaviour in a dental practice

Dental professionals face many challenges in the workplace, with patient behaviour being one of the more complex issues to deal with.

On this four-week course from National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, you’ll gain knowledge of the brain functions and behaviour associated with the experience of dental patients to help improve your care.

You’ll explore basic brain science concepts and learn how to use this knowledge to enhance your dental practice with better pain and anxiety management, and treatment planning.

Explore the role of memory in dental treatment

You’ll delve into the key concepts of memory formation and explore research to understand the issues of memory with dental patients.

With this knowledge, you’ll identify the role that memory plays in a dental practice, and how you can apply your learning to your own workplace.

Unpack the issues surrounding dental anxiety

It is common for dental patients to experience anxiety. Therefore, knowing how to manage this is extremely important in your practice.

You’ll explore the emotions associated with dentistry including fear, anxiety, anger, and frustration and learn the best practices for navigating them.

Understand how dental professionals deal with patient decision-making

On the final part of the course, you’ll focus on the motivation and decision-making of dental patients to help you further understand the actions of your patients.

You’ll delve deeper into decision-making as you unpack factors such as risk and cognitive bias to help develop a comprehensive understanding of the behaviour of dental patients. By the end of the course, you’ll have the knowledge and skills to improve patient care in your dental practice.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 13 seconds Hi, welcome to the course Brain Behaviour and Dentistry. My name is Chia-Shu Lin, the organizer and teacher of this course. This course is very unique because it may be, the only online course in the world designed for dental students and dental professionals, focusing on human brain and behaviour.

Skip to 0 minutes and 39 seconds The course includes four sessions with the following topics:

Skip to 0 minutes and 49 seconds I myself have a unique background. I have practiced dentistry for years and studied neuroscience, with a research and teaching focus on the human brain. Now I teach in both dental and medical schools. What I try to do is to bridge the knowledge from behavioural and brain sciences into clinical practice, and I hope that you, after studying this course, can adopt this knowledge for better patient care.


  • Week 1

    Dentistry and Attention

    • Association between brain, behavior, and dentistry

      In this learning activity, we will talk about some basic concepts in brain science and why it is important to dentists.

    • Perception

      In this learning activity, we will explore the issues of perception and attention, and some clinical implications in dental practice.

    • Attention

      In this learning activity, we will learn to define key concepts about attention and recognize the importance of multisensory integration in oral functions.

  • Week 2

    Dentistry and Memory

    • Basic concepts of memory

      In this learning activity, we will focus on the issues of memory of dental patients. You will learn to identify the key concepts of memory formation and the major methods of memory research.

    • Memory systems

      In this learning activity, we will explore the issues of memory of dental patients.

    • Memory and dental practice

      So far, we discuss the concept of memory. What kinds of role does memory play in dental practice?

  • Week 3

    Dentistry and Emotion

    • Basic concepts of emotion

      Welcome back. This week we will focus on emotion, which is an interesting topic. Speaking of emotion, what do you imagine in dental practice? We hope that the concepts are helpful to you after these sessions.

    • Fear and anxiety

      In the previous activity, we discussed threat-related experience, such as fear and anxiety. Let's focus on these two topics, and discuss some "catastrophized cases."

    • Anger and emotion of social interaction

      Speaking of negative emotions, we should not forget a major kind of ‘dark feeling’ from patients, i.e., anger and frustration. In this session, we will focus on them.

  • Week 4

    Dentistry and Decision making

    • Basic concepts of decision-making

      In the session, we will focus on the issues of motivation and decision-making of dental patients. After this class, you will learn some basic concepts regarding motivation and reward.

    • Risk and decision-making

      In this part, you will learn the concepts of risk and recognize the theoretical framework of decision-making under risk.

    • Factors related to decision-making

      In the last session, you will learn to identify the factors related to decision-making, to distinguish the common cognitive bias and heuristics, and to recognize the association between emotion and decision-making.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

If you'd like to take part while our educators are leading the course, they'll be joining the discussions, in the comments, between these dates:

  • 23 May 2022 - 3 Jul 2022

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explore the association between brain functions and patients' behavior and experience during dental treatment.
  • Apply the basic knowledge of brain functions during dental treatment to assess patients' cognitive and emotional status.
  • Develop a more effective way of pain and anxiety management and treatment planning during dental treatment.
  • Improve the skills in patient-dentist communication by understanding the brain functions.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for professionals and students from clinical fields related to oral health, including dentistry, medicine, nursing, and oral hygiene.

Who will you learn with?

Dr. Chia-shu Lin is a professor of Dept. Dentistry and adjunct professor of Institute of Brain Science, Nat. Yang Ming Chiao Tung U. (Taiwan). He studies oral and brain function using neuroimaging.

Who developed the course?

National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University

National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University (NYCU) was originally founded in Shanghai in 1896 and was re-established in Hsinchu, Taiwan in 1958.


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