Communication tendencies of senior dental students.

D. G. Dunning, B. M. Lange

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Although the importance of dentist-patient communication is generally recognized, the dental literature does not specify what interpersonal behaviors can be used as a basis for evaluating dental students' communication skills. A set of behaviors based on clinical observations is described, and an evaluation of 25 senior students' behavioral skills is presented. Students often did not: (1) spend much time orienting patients before beginning treatment; (2) update medical histories; (3) ask patients if they had any questions before beginning treatment; (4) explain the operation and use of equipment; (5) forewarn patients about uncomfortable procedures; (6) attend to signs of patient discomfort; (7) reinforce praiseworthy patient behavior; (8) caution patients about numbness, chewing, and sensitivity; (9) thank patients for their time; and (10) use leading/motivating questions. There is a need to provide students with systematic feedback on their interpersonal behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-175
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of dental education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Dentistry(all)


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