Critical aspects of educating clinical management and clinical reasoning in primary teeth pulpotomy: A qualitative study based on the perspectives of experts and novices

Fatemeh Janesarvatan*, Hamidreza Hassanabadi, Saeedeh Mokhtari, Peter van Rosmalen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Introduction In dental education, students must learn to integrate and coordinate complex knowledge, skills and attitudes and to transfer this learning to clinical practice. One major issue of concern in education in general and dental education, in particular, is to fill the gap between knowledge and practice. Methods The purpose of this study was to explore the problems that dental students have in transferring knowledge from the classroom to the real clinical setting. More specifically, we investigated the factors that complicate clinical management and clinical reasoning for these novices, including their common errors, in order to design an educational simulation programme in primary teeth pulpotomy. To this end, we conducted 16 semi-structured interviews with experts and novices, performing a thematic analysis of the data obtained. All interviews were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Results For each major skill-clinical management and clinical reasoning-we identified complicating factors and common errors that related to the child (the patient), parents and dental student (the three main themes). For each theme, we identified further sub-themes. Conclusion The data obtained provided valuable insights into the factors that affect dental students' performance on clinical management and clinical reasoning in primary teeth pulpotomy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-360
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Dental Education
Issue number2
Early online date20 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • clinical management
  • clinical reasoning
  • dental education
  • dental students
  • simulation

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