International journal of computerized dentistry vol:9 issue:3 pages:253-65
INTRODUCTION: Computer technology is increasingly used in practical training at universities. However, in spite of their potential, computer-assisted learning (CAL) and computer-assisted simulation (CAS) systems still appear to be underutilized in dental education. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Advantages, challenges, problems, and solutions of computer-assisted learning and simulation in dentistry are discussed by means of MEDLINE, open Internet platform searches, and key results of a study among German dental schools. RESULTS: The advantages of computer-assisted learning are seen for example in self-paced and self-directed learning and increased motivation. It is useful for both objective theoretical and practical tests and for training students to handle complex cases. CAL can lead to more structured learning and can support training in evidence-based decision-making. The reasons for the still relatively rare implementation of CAL/CAS systems in dental education include an inability to finance, lack of studies of CAL/CAS, and too much effort required to integrate CAL/CAS systems into the curriculum. CONCLUSION: To overcome the reasons for the relative low degree of computer technology use, we should strive for multicenter research and development projects monitored by the appropriate national and international scientific societies, so that the potential of computer technology can be fully realized in graduate, postgraduate, and continuing dental education.