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The importance of recording mental health history - A case report

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Ian James Mills, Sarah Barker, Tara Renton

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)922-934
Number of pages13
JournalDental Update
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017

King's Authors


Until recently, dentists were not trained in psychology and access to education in psychiatry and mental health remained limited within the dental curriculum. A major obstacle for integrating mental health initiatives into primary healthcare services is the lack of consensus on a definition of mental health. Currently, there is widespread use of the term 'mental health' as a euphemism for 'mental illness'. Mental health can be defined as the absence of mental disease, or it can be defined as a state of being that also includes the biological, psychological or social factors which contribute to an individual's mental state and ability to function within the environment. This lack of consensus on the definition of mental health has implications for research, policy and practice. Mental health issues will impact significantly upon many aspects of patients' health, including: seeking care, presentation, compliance with treatment and providing additional complexities in delivering routine care. Significant issues can arise in relation to routine care but, as dental procedures become more complex in their delivery and maintenance, the impact of undiagnosed mental health issues are likely to increase in prevalence and impact not only on individual patients but also their treating clinicians.

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