Cardiovascular Simulation Cases for Dental Students

Publication ID Published Version
1722 January 15, 2009 1


Human patient simulation (HPS) exercises are now routinely used in medical school for teaching physiologic principles in a clinical context without patient risks. The use of HPS in dental education, however, is still exceedingly rare. As part of a basic physiology course, we developed two HPS-based cases to expose first-year dental students to the physiological processes related to the most common acute cardiovascular emergencies that occur during daily dental practice. The students were first introduced to a high fidelity HPS during a lecture and reviewed the objective for the subsequent laboratory. The two laboratory simulation cases focused on diagnosis and management of 1.) neurogenic shock and 2.) the angina pectoris that may occur during dental treatment. Eighty-three students participated in lab exercises. Both cases were presented in 1 hour lab sessions with about 20 students in each group with discussion in an active--reflective learning cycle. All students were interactively involved in the case assessment during the process of events and subsequent outcomes. During the scenarios, the basic physiological events were tied to real clinical situations. This innovative model of dental education was designed to provide hands-on experience for managing a cardiovascular emergency in dental practice and for improving conceptual knowledge in critical clinical decision making.


Kamyab S, Kamyab S, Uijtdehaage S, Gordon C, Roos K. Cardiovascular Simulation Cases for Dental Students . MedEdPORTAL Publication; 2009. Available from:

Educational Objectives

  1. To be able to link basic cardiovascular physiology to real clinical situations.
  2. To be able to help the students retain their basic physiological knowledge by providing realistic scenarios relevant to dentistry.
  3. To be able to review two of the most common clinical situations encountered by dentists.


  • Neurogenic Shock, Angina Pectoris, Dentistry


  • Dental
    • Critical Thinking


  • Knowledge for Practice
  • Patient Care

Instructional Methods

  • Case-based Instruction/Learning
  • Simulation

Academic Focus

  • Basic Sciences
    • Physiology
  • Clinical Sciences
    • Clinical Skills/Doctoring

Intended Audience

  • Professional School
    • Dental Student

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ISSN 2374-8265