Objectives: The aim was to evaluate the effectiveness of a pre-clinical training of ceramic crown preparation using the Virtual Educational System for Dentistry.
Material and Methods: Fifty-seven dental students were recruited to prepare a ceramic crown under the guidance of the Real-time Dental Training and Evaluation System (RDTES) in order to collect pre-learning data. They participated in the online virtual learning course independently on the Virtual Learning Network Platform (VLNP). One week later, the students were invited to complete their post-learning crown preparation with the RDTES. A questionnaire survey explored students' perceived benefits or drawbacks of the virtual educational system. Students were allocated into Group A (n = 15), B (n = 24) and C (n = 18) based on their pre-learning performance. Differences of assessment results amongst different groups were evaluated by ANOVA and Kruskal-Wallis tests. The pre- and post-learning assessment results in all groups were compared using paired t tests or Wilcoxon signed rank tests.
Results: The error scores for four assessment items (instrument selection, preparation section, preparation reduction, preparation surface and profile) and total score of outcome assessment after the virtual learning were significantly different with those before the virtual learning (P < 0.05). There were significant interactions between time and student group in the mean scores of process and outcome assessments (P < 0.001), except for the assessment item “damage of adjacent teeth.”.
Conclusion: The application of a Virtual Educational System for Dentistry with the VLNP and RDTES in pre-clinical operative training helps students improve their clinical skills.
- crown preparation
- dental education
- pre-clinical practice
- virtual reality