Are we practising what we preach and are we all singing from the same hymn sheet? An exploration of teaching in paediatric caries management across UK dental schools

Faith Campbell (Lead / Corresponding author), Rachel Goldsmith, Helen Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: The evidence underpinning caries management for children has progressed dramatically over the past 20 years. Anecdotally, this is not reflected in the teaching provided to undergraduate dental students, with the ongoing teaching of outdated methods within some dental schools. 

Aim: To capture the current undergraduate teaching provision and clinical treatment experience requirement relative to caries management in paediatric dentistry in UK dental schools. 

Design: Cross-sectional analysis of current teaching methods on paediatric caries management was obtained using a piloted online data collection form. Question content included current caries teaching methods, assessment of student exposure and competence. The results were analysed descriptively. 

Results: Of the 16 UK dental schools, 14 participated. Discrepancy in teaching content was apparent. Many schools (n = 9) taught biological caries management through therapeutic fissure sealants, yet this was not reflected in assessment and clinical requirements. Some schools (n = 4) taught amalgam placement in children, and most (n = 12) operatively taught treatments that would no longer be routinely provided in general dental practice in the UK, including primary tooth pulpotomy. 

Conclusion: There is substantial variation in the paediatric caries management techniques that are taught across UK dental schools, demonstrating a need for a national consensus to address these disparities.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Paediatric Dentistry
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Apr 2024

Keywords

  • Dental education
  • Pulp biology/basic sciences
  • Restorative dentistry/dental materials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry

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