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      Difficulties Encountered during Transition from Preclinical to Clinical Endodontics among Salman bin Abdul Aziz University Dental Students

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          The quality of academic training can best be analyzed by including the student’s perceptions. The aim of this study is to evaluate the short comings in preclinical endodontic training and also to find out key areas to stress upon for better student understanding and treatment outcome.

          Materials and Methods:

          A total of 72 structured questionnaires were distributed to the dental students who have already entered or finished clinical endodontic training in 4 th year after successfully completing the preclinical endodontic course in 3 rd year. The questions were focused on the list of difficulties encountered during each step of endodontics including patient consideration, access related difficulties, difficulties during working length determination, cleaning and shaping and obturation. The difficulty level for each of the questions was also rated on a scale of 1-3. About 88% of the questionnaires were returned for evaluation. The obtained answers were analyzed generating a data showing the type and level of difficulty.


          Locating the apical constriction and controlling the length of the master cone has the highest percentage of difficulty among all the groups.


          This study helped in highlighting key areas of difficulties faced by the students. The training for students in future needs to be amended so that they are better able to manage such difficulties.

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          Most cited references 37

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          Factors affecting the long-term results of endodontic treatment.

          The influence of various factors that may affect the outcome of root canal therapy was evaluated in 356 patients 8 to 10 yr after the treatment. The results of treatment were directly dependent on the preoperative status of the pulp and periapical tissues. The rate of success for cases with vital or nonvital pulps but having no periapical radiolucency exceeded 96%, whereas only 86% of the cases with pulp necrosis and periapical radiolucency showed apical healing. The possibility of instrumenting the root canal to its full length and the level of root filling significantly affected the outcome of treatment. Of all of the periapical lesions present on previously root-filled teeth, only 62% healed after retreatment. The predictability from clinical and radiographic signs of the treatment-outcome in individual cases with preoperative periapical lesions cases was found to be low. Thus, factors which were not measured or identified may be critical to the outcome of endodontic treatment.
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            Stress amongst dental students: a systematic review.

            The present study was conducted to provide future researchers and dental educators with an overview of stress amongst undergraduate dental students reported in the literature. This overview is needed for the development of a new questionnaire measuring the level of stressors including students, staff and process of dental education. In addition, the review can be used to modify dental curricula to decrease such stress and produce better dentists. Our study consisted of a systematic review of 49 peer-reviewed articles published between 1966 till October 2008 in English, discussing different aspects of stress amongst undergraduate dental students. These aspects are demographic variables of stress, sources of stress, impact of stress, indicators of stress, instruments measuring stress level and management of stress. Major sources of reported stress were related to examinations, clinical requirements and dental supervisors. Studies suggest using signs and symptoms for early detection of stress and proper intervention. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.
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              The academic environment: the students' perspective.

              Dental education is regarded as a complex, demanding and often stressful pedagogical procedure. Undergraduates, while enrolled in programmes of 4-6 years duration, are required to attain a unique and diverse collection of competences. Despite the major differences in educational systems, philosophies, methods and resources available worldwide, dental students' views regarding their education appear to be relatively convergent. This paper summarizes dental students' standpoint of their studies, showcases their experiences in different educational settings and discusses the characteristics of a positive academic environment. It is a consensus opinion that the 'students' perspective' should be taken into consideration in all discussions and decisions regarding dental education. Moreover, it is suggested that the set of recommendations proposed can improve students' quality of life and well-being, enhance their total educational experience and positively influence their future careers as oral health physicians. The 'ideal' academic environment may be defined as one that best prepares students for their future professional life and contributes towards their personal development, psychosomatic and social well-being. A number of diverse factors significantly influence the way students perceive and experience their education. These range from 'class size', 'leisure time' and 'assessment procedures' to 'relations with peers and faculty', 'ethical climate' and 'extra-curricular opportunities'. Research has revealed that stress symptoms, including psychological and psychosomatic manifestations, are prevalent among dental students. Apparently some stressors are inherent in dental studies. Nevertheless, suggested strategies and preventive interventions can reduce or eliminate many sources of stress and appropriate support services should be readily available. A key point for the Working Group has been the discrimination between 'teaching' and 'learning'. It is suggested that the educational content should be made available to students through a variety of methods, because individual learning styles and preferences vary considerably. Regardless of the educational philosophy adopted, students should be placed at the centre of the process. Moreover, it is critical that they are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning. Other improvements suggested include increased formative assessment and self-assessment opportunities, reflective portfolios, collaborative learning, familiarization with and increased implementation of information and communication technology applications, early clinical exposure, greater emphasis on qualitative criteria in clinical education, community placements, and other extracurricular experiences such as international exchanges and awareness of minority and global health issues. The establishment of a global network in dental education is firmly supported but to be effective it will need active student representation and involvement.

                Author and article information

                J Int Oral Health
                J Int Oral Health
                Journal of International Oral Health : JIOH
                Dentmedpub Research and Printing Co (India )
                : 7
                : Suppl 1
                : 22-27
                Lecturer, Department of Conservative Dental Sciences, College of Dentistry, Salman bin Abdul Aziz University, Al Kharj, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Dr. Mirza MB. Department of Conservative Dental Sciences, College of Dentistry, Salman bin Abdul Aziz University, PO Box no 153, Al Kharj, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Tel.: +91-(966)-593492190. Email: mirzambaig1983@
                Copyright: © Journal of International Oral Health

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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