CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Eur J Dent 2013; 07(02): 218-224
DOI: 10.4103/1305-7456.110189
Original Article
Dental Investigation Society

Evaluation of dental students′ perception and self-confidence levels regarding endodontic treatment

Jale Tanalp
1   Department of Endodontics, Yeditepe University, Faculty of Dentistry, Turkiye
Esra Pamukçu Güven
1   Department of Endodontics, Yeditepe University, Faculty of Dentistry, Turkiye
Inci Oktay
2   Oral and Dental Public Health, Yeditepe University, Faculty of Dentistry, Turkiye
› Institutsangaben
Weitere Informationen


25. September 2019 (online)


Objectives: The aim of this study was to obtain information about senior dental students′ perceptions and self-confidence levels regarding endodontic practice. Materials and Methods: Anonymous survey forms were handed out to senior students at Yeditepe University, Faculty of Dentistry. The students were asked to score their level of confidence using a 5-point scale and comment about future practices. Results: The response rate of the survey was 88%. 11.9% expressed endodontics as the first branch in terms of difficulty. The majority (90.5%) indicated they would perform root canal treatments within their expertise limit in the future but refer difficult cases to an endodontist. Bleaching of endodontically treated teeth, managing flare-ups, placement of a rubber dam were procedures in which students reported the lowest confidence (2.55 ± 1.17, 3.24 ± 0.96, 3.24 ± 1.19, respectively). On the other hand, students felt the lowest confidence in the treatment of maxillary molars followed by mandibular molars (3.43 ± 1.02 and 3.93 ± 0.97, respectively). Students also reported the lowest confidence in root resorptions, endo-perio lesions, traumas, retreatments and apexifications (2.93 ± 1.16, 3.07 ± 0.89, 3.24 ± 0.85, 3.33 ± 1.7 and 3.36 ± 1.1, respectively). Conclusions: The results showing students′ lower confidence in more challenging aspects of dentistry may be related with the attitude of dental schools to refer these cases to post graduate students and instilling information about these cases on a theoretical basis only. Though there seems to be a tendency for students to refer challenging cases to a specialist in future, authorities should give priority to enhance the way information and experience is conveyed regarding various aspects of endodontic treatment.


  • 1 European Society of Endodontology. Undergraduate curriculum guidelines for endodontology. Int Endod J 2001; 34: 574-80
  • 2 Yip HK, Smales RJ, Newsome PR, Chu FC, Chow TW. Competency-based education in a clinical course in conservative dentistry. Br Dent J 2001; 191: 517-22
  • 3 Cowpe J, Plasschaert A, Harzer W, Vinkka-Puhakka H, Walmsley AD. Profile and competences for the graduating European dentist-update 2009. Eur J Dent Educ 2010; 14: 193-202
  • 4 Holmes DC, Diaz-Arnold AM, Williams VD. Alumni self-perception of competence at time of dental school graduation. J Dent Educ 1997; 61: 465-72
  • 5 Greenwood LF, Lewis DW, Burgess RC. How competent do our graduates feel?. J Dent Educ 1998; 62: 307-13
  • 6 Bertolami CN. The role and importance of research and scholarship in dental education and practice. J Dent Educ 2002; 66: 918-24
  • 7 Murray FJ, Blinkhorn AS, Bulman J. An assessment of the views held by recent graduates on their undergraduate course. Eur J Dent Educ 1999; 3: 3-9
  • 8 Lynch CD, Ash PJ, Chadwick BL. Student perspectives and opinions on their experience at an undergraduate outreach dental teaching centre at Cardiff: A 5-year study. Eur J Dent Educ 2010; 14: 12-6
  • 9 Arena G, Kruger E, Holley D, Millar S, Tennant M. Western Australian dental graduates’ perception of preparedness to practice: A five-year follow-up. J Dent Educ 2007; 71: 1217-22
  • 10 Bartlett DW, Coward PY, Wilson R, Goodsman D, Darby J. Experiences and perceptions of vocational training reported by the 1999 cohort of vocational dental practitioners and their trainers in England and Wales. Br Dent J 2001; 191: 265-70
  • 11 Honey J, Lynch CD, Burke FM, Gilmour AS. Ready for practice? A study of confidence levels of final year dental students at Cardiff University and University College Cork. Eur J Dent Educ 2011; 15: 98-103
  • 12 Joynt RB, Davis EL, Schreier PH. Rubber dam usage among practicing dentists. Oper Dent 1989; 14: 176-81
  • 13 Udoye CI, Jafarzadeh H. Rubber dam use among a subpopulation of Nigerian dentists. J Oral Sci 2010; 52: 245-9
  • 14 Al-Omari MA, Al-Dwairi ZN. Compliance with infection control programs in private dental clinics in Jordan. J Dent Educ 2005; 69: 693-8
  • 15 Whitworth JM, Seccombe GV, Shoker K, Steele JG. Use of rubber dam and irrigant selection in UK general dental practice. Int Endod J 2000; 33: 435-41
  • 16 Jenkins SM, Hayes SJ, Dummer PM. A study of endodontic treatment carried out in dental practice within the UK. Int Endod J 2001; 34: 16-22
  • 17 Siqueira Jr JF. Microbial causes of endodontic flare-ups. Int Endod J 2003; 36: 453-63
  • 18 Balto H, Al Khalifah Sh, Al Mugairin S, Al Deeb M, Al-Madi E. Technical quality of root fillings performed by undergraduate students in Saudi Arabia. Int Endod J 2010; 43: 292-300
  • 19 Chambers D. Learning curves: What do dental students learn from repeated practice of clinical procedures?. J Dent Educ 2012; 76: 291-302