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A survey of the teaching of conscious sedation in dental schools of the United Kingdom and Ireland

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Nick Girdler


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Aim To assess and compare, for the first time, the quantity and quality of dental undergraduate teaching in conscious sedation in the dental schools of the UK and ireland. This was achieved using a prospective, questionnaire-based survey. Methods Questionnaires were designed to collect information about undergraduate sedation education from teaching staff and final year dental undergraduates at the 16 dental schools in the UK and Ireland. Staff questionnaires were distributed to a nominated sedation teacher at each dental school and sought details of didactic and clinical sedation teaching methods, plus the quantity and perceived quality of sedation teaching. Student questionnaires were distributed to 5th year dental students and enquired about the quantity and quality of clinical sedation teaching received. The survey was undertaken during May-lune 1998. Results Thirteen dental schools returned staff questionnaires (81%). Seven also provided a student response (44%). The proportion of final year students within the 7 schools who returned completed questionnaires was 38%. Sedation teaching was undertaken primarily by oral surgery and paediatric dental departments. Three schools also utilised anaesthetic departments and 2 schools had dedicated dental sedation departments. All but 2 schools provided didactic teaching on sedation (mean: 4.2 lectures, 1.8 seminars). Of the 7 schools which returned staff and student questionnaires, all provided some clinical training using inhalational and intravenous demonstration cases (mean 5.1 and 4.4 cases, per student, respectively). All but one school provided hands-on inhalational sedation experience (mean 2.6 cases per student) but only two:schools provided any hands-on intravenous sedation experience. The quantity of hands-on experience was greater at the two dental schools with dedicated dental sedation departments. Across the schools students rated the overall quality of Sedation teaching at average or above, but most staff graded the overall quality of teaching at below average. Conclusion Dental undergraduate sedation teaching shows considerable variation across the dental schools surveyed. At most schools students gained little or no hands-on experience in sedation, especially in intravenous techniques. The undergraduate foundation for sedation education must improve if conscious sedation is to become the principal alternative to general anaesthesia in dental practice.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Girdler NM; Leitch JA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Dental Journal

Year: 2000

Volume: 188

Issue: 4

Pages: 211-216

ISSN (print): 0007-0610

ISSN (electronic): 1476-5373

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group