A teaching method was developed to improve the ability of dental students to understand and perform their first inferior alveolar nerve block. Lectures, demonstrations, and laboratory sessions were utilized to provide correlation of anatomical and clinical information. The use of cadavers for injection demonstration and practice was an integral part of this teaching approach. Cadavers were dissected so that the oral cavity remained intact. Laterally the skin and masseter muscle were reflected, and the superior portion of the ramus of the mandible was removed. This procedure permitted exposure of the medial pterygoid muscle and the inferior alveolar and lingual nerves and, therefore, permitted observation of a syringe needle during the practice of inferior alveolar nerve blocks. In addition, the supraorbital, infraorbital, and mental nerves were exposed. This combined anatomical‐clinical experience provided reinforcement of the relevance of anatomy in clinical practice, provided instruction and practice sessions before the first patient injection, and aided in relieving some of the anxiety often associated with the initial injection. © 1995 WiIey‐Liss, Inc.
- collaborative teaching
- inferior alveolar nerve block
- injection demonstration
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