Division of Communications, American Dental Education Association
Journal of dental education vol:71 issue:6 pages:759-66
The objective of this research was to determine if the essence of expert performance could be captured on a virtual reality simulation system. Six experts in operative dentistry, six experts in periodontology, and six novice dental students performed a Class II tooth preparation task on the lower left second premolar. All subjects performed a pre-test to assess the basic skill level of each group. During the (limited) training component of the study, the three groups practiced three tooth preparations and received augmented feedback. At both a one-minute and one-day interval, subjects performed a final test in the absence of augmented feedback. All preparations were graded by the simulation system. The results showed at pre-test a significantly better performance of the experts in operative dentistry as compared to the novices. During the practice (acquisition) phase, the experts in operative dentistry outperformed both the periodontologists and novices, whereas the experts in periodontology performed more accurately than the novices. After one minute and one day following practice, similar results were obtained. Retention performance was most accurate after a one-day delay. Based on these results, the simulator appears to be a valid and reliable tool to capture expert performance. It is an effective screening device for assessing the level of expert performance.