Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Lone M, McKenna JP, Balta JY, O'Mahony SM, Cryan JF, Downer EJ, Toulouse A
Journal of Dental Education
Assessment of Thiel-Embalmed Cadavers as a Teaching Tool for Oral Anatomy and Local Anesthesia
Optional Fields
Thiel-embalming; dental education; local anesthesia; oral anatomy
The aim of this study was to determine whether Thiel-embalmed cadavers would provide a useful anatomy teaching tool for topics that cannot be approached using formalin-fixed cadavers such as oral cavity examination and maxillary anesthesia. The suitability of Thiel-embalmed bodies for performing oral examinations was assessed by asking first-year dental and dental hygiene students at a dental school in Ireland to identify oral structures on a classmate and on a Thiel-embalmed body. The study was conducted in 2016. The ease of location was compared in the two settings, and their quality was assessed on the cadavers. The suitability of Thiel-embalmed cadavers to teach maxillary anesthesia was assessed by students' performing mock injections at five adjacent sites daily for five consecutive days, followed by inspection of the gingival surface by experienced anatomists and dentists. Data were obtained from 57 students, but only the 54 forms that were fully completed were analyzed, for an overall response rate of 85.7%. The results showed that most oral structures were more difficult to locate on cadavers. The texture and appearance of features in the cadavers were rated at a midpoint between realistic and unrealistic. The relative inexperience of the participants, the accumulation of fixative in the oral cavity, and discoloration were mentioned as potential confounding factors. Visual analysis of images obtained following repeated injections revealed no deterioration of the tissue. Importantly, the puncture marks appeared to reduce over time, suggesting that the gingival tissue maintains some elasticity following Thiel fixation. These findings suggest that Thiel-embalmed cadavers may be a useful tool to provide students more time to localize and study aspects of the oral cavity. Likewise, the recoiling capacity of gingival tissue suggests that Thiel-embalmed cadavers may provide an ideal tool for teaching injection technique of local anesthetics.
Grant Details