Dental Students’ Preference with regard to Tactile or Visual Determination of Injection Site for an Inferior Alveolar Nerve Block in Children: A Crossover Randomized Clinical Trial
Objectives: Instruction of local anesthesia injection in an important part of dental education curricula. This study was performed to compare dental students’ preference with regard to tactile or visual determination of injection site for an inferior alveolar nerve block (IANB) in children.
Materials and Methods: This crossover randomized clinical trial was conducted on dental students of Zahedan Dental School who took the first practical course of pediatric dentistry in the first academic semester of 2013-14 (n=42). They were randomly divided into two groups. During the first phase, group I was instructed to find the needle insertion point for an IANB via tactile method and group II was instructed to do it visually. In the second phase, the groups received instructions for the alternate technique. Both instructions were done using live demonstrations by the same instructor and immediately after instruction the learners practiced an IANB using the taught method. A five-point Likert scale questionnaire was then filled out by the students. The preference score was determined by calculating the mean of item scores. Data were analyzed using Mann-Whitney U and Wilcoxon Singed Rank tests in SPSS 19 at P=0.05 level of significance.
Results: Thirty-eight students completed the study. By using the visual method to perform an IANB, students gained a significantly higher mean preference score (P=0.020). There was a significant difference in the preference of male students (P=0.008).
Conclusions: Instruction of IANB by visual identification of needle insertion point is more desirable by students.