Background: Delivering bad news is an emotive and stressful task for professionals and highlights the need for good communication practice based upon a ‘patient –centred’ approach. An innovative approach, the S-P-I-K-E-S model provides a systematic and structured way for dentist, to deliver bad news in an effective and empathetic manner. A pilot project was undertaken to assess dental students’ experiential knowledge and understanding of the process of delivering bad news. Methods: A qualitative content analysis of the students’ responses was undertaken and then mapped against the SPIKES model. Findings: ? students had delivered bad news; yet the majority indicated that it was perceived as difficult. Key findings showed that students jumped too quickly to solution -focused remedies. Discussion: It is crucial that the SPIKES model be integrated into professional education.