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Eur J Dent Educ. 2011 Feb;15(1):47-52. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0579.2010.00633.x.

European dental students' opinions on their local anaesthesia education.

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Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, VU University Medical Centre and Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam (ACTA), Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



To investigate students' opinion about theoretical and clinical training in local anaesthesia at different European dental schools.


A questionnaire was designed to collect information about local anaesthesia teaching. Students' opinion was quantified with five-point Likert scales. The web-based questionnaire was distributed through European Dental Students Association contacts amongst students of 25 different dental schools. Eight hundred and eighteen completed questionnaires from students of 12 dental schools were analyzed statistically.


Dental schools showed a wide variation in the beginning of the theoretical teaching of local anaesthesia and the practical teaching. A preclinical training model was used by a small number of students, but these students found it a useful preparation. Many students felt insufficiently prepared when they administered their first injection in a human (17-81%). In dental schools from the UK, Ireland, Sweden and the Netherlands, this first injection is administered to a fellow dental student, whilst in the other countries the first injection is usually performed in a patient. Instruction in mandibular block anaesthesia was frequently reported (81-100%) as well as in infiltration anaesthesia of the upper and lower jaws (78-100% and 30-93% respectively). Many students expressed that they like to receive teaching in intraligamentary anaesthesia (13-70%). Other changes in the curriculum were also frequently suggested (33-100%), especially the introduction of preclinical training models and practical teaching earlier in the curriculum.


Local anaesthesia teaching programmes and the rating of this teaching by dental students show a considerable variation across European dental schools. Students considered better preparation highly desirable. The variability in programmes may have implications for mobility of students between European dental schools.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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