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Simulation unit for dental students

New project examines the effect of background music in dental education

A unique project currently ongoing at the Institute of Dentistry examines the effects of background music on dental students’ capability to focus on their work.

Previous studies indicate that noise made by dental units may distract students. However, some background music in the work environment has the potential to increase worker satisfaction and productivity. Studies in other stressful settings have shown a reduction in anxiety when there is background music. In the field of medical education, there is very little data on the impact of music on learning and cognition, although there is some evidence of  a trend towards improving technical surgical skills on exposure to classical music.

However,  data on whether background music influences the anxiety levels of young preclinical dental students and alters their performance is scarce or non-existent.

The new project aims to compare how music, or lack thereof, affects students’ nervousness and capability to focus during a preclinical dental course.

“According to preliminary findings on students practicing dental procedures on Phantom heads used during the course, music seems to bring important benefits. A more extensive survey will further characterise dental students’ perceptions of background music during a dental preclinical course, and qualitative measurements will also be taken to analyse dental undergraduates’ performance,” Clinical Lecturer Jukka Leinonen says.

Below, watch a short video on the project including dental student’s thoughts on background music.