Background: Tooth morphology is a central component of the dental curriculum and is applicable to all dental specialities. Traditional teaching methods are being supplemented with innovative strategies to tailor teaching and accommodate the learning styles of the recent generation of students.
Methods: An online survey was compiled and distributed to the staff involved in teaching tooth morphology in the United Kingdom and Ireland to assess the importance of tooth morphology in the dentistry curriculum and the methodologies employed in teaching.
Results: The results of the survey show that tooth morphology constitutes a small module in the dental curriculum. It is taught in the first 2 years of the dental curriculum but is applicable in the clinical years and throughout the dental career. Traditional teaching methods, lecture and practical, are being augmented with innovative teaching including e-learning via virtual learning environment, tooth atlas and e-books leading to blended learning. The majority of the schools teach both normal dental anatomy and morphologic variations of dental anatomy and utilise plastic teeth for practical and examination purposes. Learning the 3D aspects of tooth morphology was deemed important by most of the respondents who also agreed that tooth morphology is a difficult topic for the students.
Conclusion: Despite being core to the dental curriculum, overall minimal time is dedicated to the delivery of tooth morphology, creating a reliance on the student to learn the material. New forms of delivery including computer-assisted learning tools should help sustain learning and previously acquired knowledge.