Dental and dental hygiene students' attitudes in a joint local anesthesia course. Academic Article uri icon


  • In 1995, the local anesthesia course was combined for dental and dental hygiene students. It was also the first time that dental hygiene students were instructed clinically in local anesthetic techniques. Faculty felt it important to evaluate student attitudes regarding these curriculum changes. This study assessed students' perceptions of the adequacy of background preparation courses, concerns about administering local anesthetics and attitudes about its administration by dental hygienists. A pre/post survey was completed by dental and dental hygiene students. T-tests were used to determine if differences in attitudes existed between groups and if changes in attitudes occurred within groups after taking the course. Results indicated that both groups believed they had adequate background preparation. Apprehensions about administering local anesthetics were similar, but the dental hygiene students felt significantly less anxiety (p < 0.01). Results also differed significantly on the issue of hygienists administering local anesthetics, with hygiene students in support of it and dental students opposed (p < 0.01). Results confirmed that no changes were needed in the existing prerequisite courses for both groups. A need to address student anxiety about local anesthetic administration has been identified. In addition, it may be beneficial to expand dental students' appreciation of dental hygiene education to foster mutually successful working relationships in the future.

published proceedings

  • Probe

author list (cited authors)

  • Gutmann, M. E., DeWald, J. P., Solomon, E. S., & McCann, A. L.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Gutmann, ME||DeWald, JP||Solomon, ES||McCann, AL

publication date

  • January 1997