The impact of confidence on clinical dental practice

Peter Fine, Albert Leung, Clare Bentall, Chris Louca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

389 Downloads (Pure)


Introduction: Increasing confidence through learning has the potential to change General Dental Practitioners’ (GDPs) perceptions of clinical practice. By examining how changes in confidence influence the clinical practice of two cohorts of GDPs, during and following an extended period of postgraduate training, we show the importance of confidence to GDPs and that a lack of confidence is a primary reason why GDPs attend postgraduate training courses.

Methods: A mixed method approach was adopted for this study. Quantitative data were collected via a series of linked questionnaires; qualitative data were collected using focus group discussions, interviews and contemporaneous field notes. Analysis was undertaken using SPSS software and a phenomenological approach respectively.

Findings: Participants indicated an increase in confidence in their ability to undertake dental procedures, which led to an increase in confidence in communication skills, and their ability to undertake complex restorative procedures. This led to greater treatment acceptance by patients resulting in better ‘job satisfaction’.

Discussion: A sense of confidence is central to personal development and on‐going study, leading to firstly, an improved capability to perform tasks (competence), secondly, confidence is a product of the relationship and trust of those people associated with the individual/professional and thirdly, the correct level of challenge is important to confidence.

Conclusions: The issue of confidence has not been looked at in postgraduate dentistry but it is well recognised in medical education fields.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-167
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Dental Education
Issue number2
Early online date26 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019


  • adult
  • clinical competence
  • cohort studies
  • communication
  • education
  • dental
  • graduate
  • female
  • humans
  • job satisfaction
  • learning
  • male middle aged
  • self concept
  • students
  • dental/psychology
  • surveys
  • questionaaires
  • young adult


Dive into the research topics of 'The impact of confidence on clinical dental practice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this