Do dental undergraduates think that Thiel-embalmed cadavers are a more realistic model for teaching exodontia?

C. Hanson, T. Wilkinson, M. Macluskey (Lead / Corresponding author)

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Introduction: Teaching exodontia to novice undergraduates requires a realistic model. Thiel-embalmed cadavers retain the flexibility of the soft tissues and could be used to teach exodontia.

Objective: The objective was to determine whether Thiel-embalmed cadavers were perceived to be a more realistic model by undergraduates in comparison with mannequins.

Materials and Methods: Over a period of 4 years (2011-2014), students were randomly assigned into two groups: those taught exodontia on mannequins only (NT) and those who also experienced cadaveric teaching (T). This was followed by an assessment.

Results: There were 174 students in the T group and 108 in the NT group. Sixty-five per cent of the T group and 69% of the NT group provided feedback. Ninety-eight per cent (98%) felt that they had been advantaged by being included in the group compared with 95% in the NT who felt disadvantaged. The majority (98%) thought that using the cadavers was advantageous and gave a realistic feel for soft tissue management (89%) and that it was similar to managing a patient (81%). Self-reported confidence in undertaking an extraction was not different between the two groups (P=.078), and performance in the extraction assessment was not significantly different between the two groups over the 4 years (P=.8).

Conclusion: The Thiel-embalmed cadavers were well received by the students who found it a more realistic model for exodontia than a mannequin, even though this did not impact on their performance in a following assessment. Future work on these cadavers may be expanded to include surgical procedures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e14-e18
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Dental Education
Issue number1
Early online date20 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018


  • Dental students
  • Extractions
  • Oral surgery
  • Thiel-embalmed cadaver


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