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Pilot Course

Pre-Clinical Operative Dentistry Workshop

Pilot Course: Pre-Clinical Operative Dentistry Workshop praised by DS students.

Filling in the Gaps:   

As DSII and ISP1s transition from preclinical simulation to patient care in the CU Dental Teams Student Clinics there is one word that summarizes their emotions—Adrenaline. The excitement to finally treat live patients, to feel like a real dentist, but also the fear and anxiety that many students face as well. Between Direct restorative first year and third year clinic, Drs. Karine Barizon and Ana Elashvili wanted to bridge the gap between simulation and patient care: between plastic and healthy/diseased dental tissue. The pilot course directed by Drs. Elashvili and Barizon used extracted human teeth to give students the chance to excavate caries to provide tactile memory on cutting both diseased and healthy tissue. Dr. Barizon says that although many techniques can be taught using plastic teeth, bonding and caries removal cannot be accurately simulated on typodont teeth. Both instructors wanted to acknowledge Dr. Wilson for his support for the course and Dr. Clifton Carey for providing the storage buffer and for meticulously preparing the teeth for student use in preclinical simulation and for future research studies.   

Building Student Confidence:

The student’s reaction to this course was very positive. Anxious to learn, wanting to practice a restoration they have planned for the next week—everyone was eager to explore. “It was really fun to see that students wanted to do more for their education,” says Dr. Elashvili. Students removed caries, saw the difference between healthy and affected dentin, and were able to bond, and restore their preparations with sealants and glass ionomer. Dr. Barizon says:  “ we wanted to give students the experience…before clinic.” Being able to handle extracted teeth through this course helped bridge the gap between traditional simulation clinic and the patient care clinics.   

Educational Research:  

With the collaboration with the Carey Laboratory, Drs. Barizon and Elashvili surveyed student participants before and after the course. The data collected from these surveys will help quantify the response students had to the course and their perception of caries removal, and their confidence level. The data are not completely analyzed at this point, but both Dr. Barizon and Elashvili were very excited to see the results from the surveys. As academicians, they wish to publish their findings and share with their colleagues the importance of advancing student education.  Understanding how we can improve dental education improves patient care and streamlines our curriculum. If students are interested in being a Student Assistant for this course, please contact Doctors Barizon and Elashvili.
July 2013

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