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, 21 (4), 220-227

Utilising an Innovative Digital Software to Grade Pre-Clinical Crown Preparation Exercise


Utilising an Innovative Digital Software to Grade Pre-Clinical Crown Preparation Exercise

E T Kateeb et al. Eur J Dent Educ.


Background: Accurate assessment of dental students' pre-clinical work is the most critical component of the dental education process. Thus, this study came to investigate the effectiveness of using technology in students' pre-clinical work evaluation; by comparing grades generated from a digital assessment software of a prepared tooth and a traditional visual inspection carried out by four calibrated faculty members.

Methods: Ninety-six teeth were prepared for a ceramo-metal crown by fourth year dental students. The four examiners and the digital grading software evaluated independently each preparation once. A random sample of 20 preparations were graded twice to assess intra-rater reliability. Inter-class correlation (ICC) was used to measure agreement among the four examiners, and between the examiners and the digital grading software. Paired student t-test was used to assess the accuracy of grades generated from visual inspection when compared to the digital grading system.

Results: Intra-rater reliability for examiners 1 and 2 were 0.73 and 0.78 and for the digital grading system was 0.99. The inter-rater reliability among the four examiners was very good, ICC of 0.76. However, the agreement between scores produced by the examiners and the digital system were mostly in the low to moderate range. The paired t-test demonstrated statistically significant differences between each examiner and the digital grading by 6-25 grades.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates that the digital grading system used in this study can reliably scan and compare students' tooth preparations to a known gold standard. Results of this study suggests that using digital grading will preclude the variability and the subjectivity that usually result from the traditional visual inspection grading.

Keywords: assessment; crown preparation; dental education; educational technology; prosthodontics.

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