BackgroundAim of this observational study with a three-month follow-up was to evaluate an educational concept for risk-oriented prevention applied by fifth-year undergraduate dental students.MethodsDental students from two clinical treatment courses of the last undergraduate year were included. The subjects were divided into two groups according to their assignment to the two clinical classes. Group A received a sequence of seminars, including the basics of a risk classification system (RCS) with the theoretical background and case studies in the context of preventive dentistry. Thereby, 1) a theoretical seminar (background, RCS, cases) and 2) the transfer of the RCS on a clinical patient case chosen by the student, and its presentation within a discussion round was applied. Group B served as a comparison group with students who did not receive any of teaching events in terms of RCS. The self-perceived knowledge and importance of RCS, as well as objective knowledge (qualitative questions), were assessed with a standardized questionnaire at baseline and after 3 months.ResultsOut of 90 students at baseline, 79 (group A: 39, group B: 40) were re-evaluated after 3 months. At this follow-up, Group A estimated their confidence in handling the medication (p = 0.02), the RCS (p < 0.01), and in identifying the risk of oral diseases (p = 0.02) higher than group B. Furthermore, group A felt it was more important to identify patients at risk (p = 0.02), the risk of complications (p = 0.02) and to apply an RCS (p = 0.03). At follow-up, group A exhibited more correct answers of qualitative questions than group B regarding risk of complications (p < 0.01) and bacteremia (p < 0.01). Group A felt more confident with at-risk patients and more competent concerning RCS than group B (p < 0.01).ConclusionThe concept for educating risk-oriented prevention increased the self-perceived skills and the knowledge of undergraduate dental students after 3 months within a clinical treatment course.