Performance of students; clinical skills using a Haptic Dental Simulator

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


Performance of Students’ Clinical Skills Using a Haptic Dental Simulator

Objectives: The aim of this research was to determine the performance progression of two successive cohorts (2015 and 2016) of 120 Year-1 novice dental students’ cavity preparation skills using a haptic dental simulator.

Methods: The hapTEL virtual dental work-stations were used to teach BDS-Year-1 dental students during two time-tabled practice sessions in years 2015 (Study 1) and 2016 (Study 2). All students were taught during two 1-hour sessions to remove progressively complicated caries from simulated teeth.
The hapTEL systems anonymously recorded and created log-files of all student performances of the % of caries removed; of healthy tissue remaining; if the pulp had been exposed, and the time taken to complete the task.

Results: Study 1 results showed that 66.6% of caries was removed on average in Session 1 compared with 86.9% for the most difficult Task 5 (Session 2). 58.1% of students exposed the pulp while working on a simple caries lesion (Task 2), compared with a more complex cavity (Task 3) in which the pulp was minimally exposed by a minority of students (44.4%). The overall results show that the greatest improvement in student performance in completing Tasks 2 to 5 was that fewer of them exposed the pulp even though the task was much more difficult and that the time taken to complete Task 5 was faster than for Task 4. Study 2 (2016) results will be compared with Study 1 to see if these results are substantiated for a subsequent cohort of students one year later.

Conclusions: The results show that a haptic system simulating simple dental procedures can enhance dental-undergraduate students’ cavity preparation skills with only two hours practice by improving hand-eye coordination, fine and gross motor skills and through formative assessment provided by the dynamic feedback on students’ performance of cavity preparation.

(PDF) Performance of Students’ Clinical Skills Using a Haptic Dental Simulator. Available from: [accessed Jun 27 2018].
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConference: International Association for Dental Research
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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