Introduction: This study aimed to assess whether the method of teaching endodontology influenced the quality of root fillings made by undergraduate students. Materials and methods: The method of teaching endodontology at our institution was revised. Changes concerned: the programme (ie method of clinical training and summative assessment), and the supervision whilst performing root canal treatment on patients. An intermediate cohort (N=91) comprised partly students attending the former programme (involving patients) and partly students attending the revised programme (without patients). After succeeding in the summative assessment, the quality of the first root filling made by the student in a patient under supervision of either a general dental practitioner or an endodontist was evaluated according to pre-determined criteria. Data were analysed using Cohen's Kappa, Chi-square, Fisher's exact, Mann-Whitney and Kruskal-Wallis tests. Results: Sixty-two per cent (47 of 76) of root fillings made by students who attended the revised programme were of good quality, in comparison with 47% (seven of 15) of those made by students who attended the former programme (P=.274). Less complex treatments had better quality root fillings if students were supervised by endodontists (88% (14 of 16) good quality) than supervised by general dental practitioners (59% (22 of 37) good quality) (P=.045). Complex treatments did not differ in quality of root fillings for the supervision types (P=.825). Conclusion: The quality of root fillings made by students who attended the revised programme seems at least as high as that of those who attended the former programme. Higher quality root fillings might be obtained under supervision of endodontists than under supervision of general dental practitioners.