A Comparison of Models for Teaching Suturing and Surgical Skills to Dental Students

Michaelina Macluskey (Lead / Corresponding author), Gavin Revie, Simon D. Shepherd

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Learning suturing skills is an important area of the undergraduate curriculum and ideally requires realistic and anatomically accurate surgical training models to prepare students for treating patients. Little is currently understood regarding which model might be perceived by students to be the best or which might most effectively facilitate their learning. The aim of this study was to compare four teaching models: a tabletop silicon dental model, a restricted access tabletop model, a traditional phantom head mounted model, and a Thiel cadaver. Student preferences were explored for each of the models. Following lecture and video-based teaching 67 fourth-year students attended a practical suturing teaching session followed by the second session more focused on the experience of cutting and suturing mucoperiosteal flaps. Forty-six students (67%) gave online anonymous feedback on the first session. The majority (95%) felt prepared to place a simple interrupted suture on a patient, and 88% felt confident to do so. Twenty-eight students (40%) provided feedback on the second session with 82% agreeing that they were prepared to cut a mucoperiosteal flap and 48% felt confident to do this for a patient. The cadaver model was rated as the best of the four models for both suturing and mucoperiosteal flap skills. These results support its use for teaching students to suturing and surgical skills. However, despite this teaching student-rated confidence to cut and suture flaps for a patient remains poor.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3783021
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Dentistry
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2024


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