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Learning Clinical Skills Using Haptic vs. Phantom Head Dental Chair Simulators in Removal of Artificial Caries: Cluster-Randomized Trials with Two Cohorts’ Cavity Preparation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Article number198
JournalDentistry Journal
Volume10
Issue number11
DOIs
Accepted/In press18 Oct 2022
PublishedNov 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: hapTEL was part of the Technology-Enhanced Learning Programme (TEL) funded by the United Kingdom Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Award Number: RES-139-25-038. Our thanks to the hapTEL project team, King’s College London: A. Banerjee, S. Banerji, S. Dunne, C. Gray, T-A. Aston, J. Hindmarsh, L. Hyland, B. Millar, B. Quinn, P. Reynolds, A. Shahriari-Rad, N. Wilson, M. Woolford; University of Reading: W. Harwin, A. Barrow, B. Tse; Birmingham City University: B. Elson. Additional thanks to Jesal Patel. Publisher Copyright: © 2022 by the authors.

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Abstract

Dental task trainer simulators using haptics (virtual touch) offers a cost-effective method of teaching certain clinical skills. The purpose of this study is to evaluate students’ performance in removing artificial caries after training with either a haptic dental chair simulator with virtual reality or a traditional dental chair simulator with a mannequin head.
Cluster Randomized Controlled Trials in two cohorts, both Year 1 dental students. Students taught using traditional dental chair simulators were compared with students taught using haptic-based simulators on their ability to cut a cavity in a plastic tooth following training.
Across both cohorts, there was no difference in the quality of cavity cut, though students’ technique differed across the two simulator groups in some respects. No difference was seen across both cohorts in the quality of cavity cut for a simple preparation, though students in the haptic condition performed less well in the more demanding task. Moreover, students in the haptic group were also less likely to be perceived to be ‘holding the instrument appropriately’.
These findings suggest further investigation is needed into the differences in handling of instruments and level of clinical task difficulty between the simulators.

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