A comparison of the visual and technical assessment of preparations made by dental students

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Abstract

The preparation of acrylic teeth in a simulated clinical environment (phantom head) plays an essential role in pre-clinical dental education where evaluation is performed visually by instructors. The aim of this investigation was to verify the quality criteria of a tooth preparation for a metal-ceramic crown (tooth No. 21) with the help of digital measurement. Thirty-six acrylic teeth were prepared by students and one tooth was prepared ideally by a trained dentist: These were examined and compared. Five experienced instructors independently assessed the quality criteria with the use of a criterion list. Afterwards, the teeth were scanned with the 3D-laser scanner ‘es11’ (Etkon Company, Munich, Germany). The calculation of the correlation coefficient demonstrated a satisfactory correlation between visual and digital rating concerning convergence angle, shoulder width and occlusal reduction. Greater differences between experimental groups were observed with regards to other criteria on the applied criterion list. A directed calibration of the evaluators and a re-evaluation of some measurements would be necessary to gain more precise results.

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