• comorbidity;
  • General Health Questionnaire;
  • liaison psychiatry;
  • occlusion;
  • odontology;
  • screening;
  • somatoform disorder

Abstract  Dentists often treat patients who may be suffering from comorbid mental disorders without paying attention to their symptoms. This leads to a delay in starting the treatment of mental disorders and to inappropriate dental treatments for physical symptoms originating from mental disorders. In the present study, the ways in which dentists can easily detect mental disorders in dental patients with occlusion-related problems were examined. Fifty-three patients who visited the Occlusion Clinic of Kanagawa Dental College were interviewed by a psychiatrist and a dentist specialized in psychosomatic medicine. Thirty-five patients (66.0%) were diagnosed as having DSM-IV Axis I disorders. The demographic and psychological factors that correlate with the presence of mental disorders are duration of chief complaint, number of clinics and hospitals visited for the current symptom, total score of the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ), the scores of the anxiety and insomnia and social dysfunction subscales in the GHQ and the scores of the confusion–bewilderment and fatigue–inertia subscales in the Profile of Mood States (POMS). A logistic regression analysis indicated that number of clinics and hospitals visited markedly correlated with cormobidity of a mental disorder. This information may be useful for screening mental disorder patients. Dental patients having comorbid mental disorders should be treated both odontologically and psychologically.