01/03/2021 Medicine
DOI: 10.1136/bmjstel-2019-000549 SemanticScholar ID: 219044907 MAG: 3021264462

Investigating the construct validity of a haptic virtual caries simulation for dental education

Publication Summary

Introduction Teaching dental caries removal is limited by the material and methods available in the preclinical teaching space. Plastic teeth do not simulate the tactile feel of a lesion and natural teeth do not allow for standardised training and assessment. A novel method for simulating caries has been reported. Here, to investigate the construct validity of a caries simulation, whether haptic simulation could contribute to the understanding of caries removal, the performance of first-year dental students on the haptic simulation exercise is compared with that of experienced dentists. Method A virtual block comprising healthy dentine, pulp, enamel and a carious lesion with significant spread along the amelodentinal junction (ADJ) was developed for the Simodont dental trainer. The case was presented to 112 first-year students and 17 clinicians following a 15 min training period on a block which contained green caries and displayed live progress throughout the exercise. All participants were given the same verbal instructions: to remove all unsupported enamel and caries along the ADJ while retaining as much healthy tissue as possible. Results Clinicians performed better than the dental novices in precision and overall performance. Clinicians removed more material on average, except for healthy dentine, of which similar amounts were removed by both groups. Discussion We presented a novel haptic caries exercise and investigated the construct validity of the task. The simulation may bridge the gap between preclinical and clinical dental education in caries removal. Conclusion Clinically experienced dentists outperformed novices on a haptic caries simulation exercise. The exercise may be a useful tool for assessing conceptual understanding of caries removal.

CAER Authors

Avatar Image for Faisal Mushtaq

Dr. Faisal Mushtaq

University of Leeds - Associate Professor in Cognitive Neuroscience

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