Analysis of Confidence Levels and Application Success Rates in Simulator-Based Dental Anesthesia Education Among Undergraduate Dental Students

J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2021 Jun;79(6):1236.e1-1236.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.joms.2021.02.006. Epub 2021 Feb 11.


Purpose: We investigated the confidence levels of undergraduate dental students who used dental anesthesia simulators and patient reports of undergraduate dental students' confidence levels in delivering anesthesia injections, in comparison with undergraduate dental students who did not use dental anesthesia simulators. We also investigated application success rates.

Materials and methods: The study was carried out in the dental anesthesia simulator laboratory and in the faculty clinics of the Faculty of Dentistry of Ankara University. One-hundred volunteer undergraduate dental students who had completed the third year of the 5-year undergraduate education program and who had not performed local anesthesia on a patient participated in the study. Seventy and 30 undergraduate dental students did and did not receive training on dental anesthesia simulators, respectively, before performing procedures on patients. Using a questionnaire, undergraduate dental students conducted a self-assessment of preparedness and confidence, educators assessed the application success rates, and patients evaluated the undergraduate dental students' confidence levels.

Results: Patients reported that the undergraduate dental students trained using the simulators were more confident. The self-reported confidence and success rates in providing anesthesia did not differ significantly as per the use of dental anesthesia simulators.

Conclusions: Although use of simulators did not enhance self-reported confidence, patients reported that undergraduate dental students who used the simulators were more confident and reassuring. Use of simulators did not increase the undergraduate dental students' self-reported confidence or preparedness. However, we recommend using such simulators to overcome the ethical and moral issues associated with other teaching methods.

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia, Dental*
  • Anesthesiology*
  • Clinical Competence
  • Education, Dental
  • Faculty
  • Humans
  • Students, Dental