A Collaborative Review of the Field of Simulation-Enhanced Dental Education

Margaret Josephine Cox, Barry Francis Arthur Quinn, Arash Shah-Riad, Marjoke M Vervoorn, Paul Wesselink, Ilse R. De Boer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paper


Aim The aim was to compare and review the longitudinal research results of using two haptic simulators to teach undergraduate dental students; to identify important features of haptic system design and the strategies which enable haptic simulators to be incorporated effectively in the curriculum. Materials and Methods Published Dental Education Literature :A substantial review was conducted of 40 years’ research and development to identify the impact of Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) in Education including: TEL impact in dental education; A model of the teaching and learning process in higher education (see Figure 2); Developing and using haptic simulators in dental education. Comparisons of the development and evaluation of two virtual dental simulators Comparisons were made of the development, evaluation and lessons learnt of the two systems (see Figure 1) both of which have now been used by large numbers of student cohorts for more than 6 years. The hapTEL project – system developed at King’s College London The ACTA project – Simodont system developed at the University of Amsterdam Results The results showed the design differences between the systems were as follows: The hapTEL system has no incorporated structured lesson plans or goals like the Simodont system: The Simodont system has a very small screen simulating a mouth aperture but not allowing use by pairs or groups so easily as the hapTEL system; The Simodont system aims to provide students with dental problems in the perspective of a patient, teaching students from the beginning to involve the patient information in their clinical decisions; The hapTEL system allows students to experience working in pairs as the ‘dentist’ and the ‘nurse’ simulating the team work in real dental clinics. Evaluation results show that both systems have enhanced students' learning of clinical skills and self reflection. Conclusions The evidence from the literature and this comparative review shows that: The benefits of using virtual reality simulators for dental and other healthcare programmes may significantly enhance students’ learning Successive student evaluations of haptic simulators have shown that they enhance the learning of the hand-eye coordination and fine motor control over and above similar uses of the traditional phantom head system It is not necessary to have a complete range of features in order for students to benefit from the use of virtual dental simulators In the longer term use of haptic simulators in education should improve the treatment and increase the safety of patients. Reference Entwistle, N. (1987). A model of the teaching-learning process. In J. T. E. Richardson, M. Eysenck, & D. Piper (Eds.), Student learning: research in education and cognitive psychology (pp. 13-28). Milton Keynes England; Philadelphia PA USA: Society for Research into Higher Education ;Open University Press
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAssociation of Dental Education in Europe, At Szeged, Hungary
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015


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