Implementation of game-based training in oral rehabilitation of edentulous patients in an undergraduate dental course

J Dent Educ. 2023 Mar;87(3):364-373. doi: 10.1002/jdd.13124. Epub 2022 Nov 7.


Background: Coronavirus disease-19 dramatically changed the learning conditions of dental students, with restricted access to training sessions and clinical practice. The "Playdent" project proposed the integration of serious games (SGs) in the third-year curriculum, based on tailor-made scenarios questioning the first dental visit of edentulous patients, and examined whether training with the games would advance students' learning outcomes.

Materials and methods: Test scores of 89 students, allocated either to a "test" group that accessed SGs during a 4-week test period in addition to conventional lectures or to a "control" group that benefited solely from conventional lectures, were measured before and immediately after the test period. The subsequent satisfaction of students was assessed in the "test" group.

Results: Scores obtained after the 4-week period significantly increased within the "test" group (11.1% ± 24.9%, p = 0.04, degree of freedom [df] = 30) while they did not change within the "control" group (p = 0.21, df = 57). Qualitative feedback expressed by students who played SGs during the 4-week period demonstrated that 71% of them rated the SGs as satisfactory and 91% of them judged the consistency of SGs content with lectures to be satisfactory.

Conclusion: Game-based learning showed a positive impact on the learning outcomes of third-year students. Qualitative assessments provide insights into the pertinence of SGs offered in addition to traditional lectures of third-year complete denture courses. SGs may consolidate skills in oral rehabilitation acquired through traditional passive learning formats proposed in preclinical courses.

Keywords: dental curriculum; oral rehabilitation; serious games; skill learning.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Curriculum
  • Feedback
  • Humans
  • Learning
  • Students