Can Virtual Simulators Replace Traditional Preclinical Teaching Methods: A Students’ Perspective?
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Background: Haptic simulators are starting to attract a lot of dental schools to use and implement as part of their preclinical training. However, there is not much data available about the possible ways it could be used to gain the maximum benefits. Students being the end users of this new technology should have a valuable opinion about this topic. Methods: Twenty four dental students enrolled in the 4th and 5th years of the dental science program at the school of dentistry and oral health – Griffith University – Queensland – Australia participated in this study. Participants were offered a trial session on the Simodont® Dental Trainer and were asked to evaluate different aspects of this virtual simulator by completing a pre-experimental and post-experimental questionnaire. Results and conclusion: All students valued and appreciated the additional educational benefits the Simodont® Dental Trainer can offer. Before the trial session, fourth year students were more excited and enthusiastic about using the haptic simulator. After the trial session, fifth year students rated the simulator in some aspects higher when compared to fourth year students. All students agreed that Simodont® Dental Trainer should be used in conjunction with other traditional educational methods and to be supplemented by feedback from human educators. Further trials are required to investigate the value of using haptic simulators over a whole semester or a year.
International Journal of Dentistry and Oral Health
© 2015 Bakr MM, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Dental Materials and Equipment