The Hall technique, a novel method of placing preformed metal crowns (PMCs) without local anaesthesia or tooth preparation, was introduced to our undergraduate dental curriculum in 2009. This study aimed to describe student experience of, and attitudes towards, PMCs before and after exposure to this new technique. Clinical data were extracted from student logbooks to determine the number of PMCs placed for cohorts graduating in 2005 (n = 55), 2009 (n = 61) and 2010 (n = 75). Five focus groups were also conducted with 29 final-year dental students. Students graduating in 2005, 2009 and 2010 had placed a mean (range) of 0.03 (0–1), 0.63 (0–5) and 1.15 (0–9) PMCs, respectively. The proportion of students who had placed a PMC increased significantly from only 1.9% in 2005 to 75% in 2010 (P < 0.05, ANOVA). Students reported some positive experiences of the Hall technique. However, concern over perceived lack of future clinical support, an anticipated increase in time and financial pressures, and the ease of use of glass-ionomer cement as an alternative were described as potential barriers to PMC use. Findings suggest that the introduction of the Hall technique has had a marked impact on the use of PMCs as a treatment modality for carious primary teeth.