Periodontal disease is one the most common disease pathologies in small animal medicine, yet new graduates report they feel unprepared to perform dentistry in general practice. Novel methodologies to close the knowledge gap in veterinary dentistry need to be identified. Typodonts (dental models) are commonly used in human dental schools to teach basic principles prior to practice on clinical patients and have been shown to be an effective teaching tool.The study aimed to determine if independent study and self-guided practice on a veterinary typodont prior to a structured, in-person cadaver laboratory with feedback increases students’ perceived dentistry clinical skills in performing periodontal techniques.We calculated the knowledge gap before and after the cadaver laboratory by comparing the students’ perceived and desired skill levels in performing periodontal charting, ultrasonic cleaning, hand scaling, and root planing. Ninety-six percent of students reported that practice with the dental typodont prior to the cadaver laboratory increased their comfort level in performing periodontal skills. However, practice did not result in a significant decrease in knowledge gap compared with participation in the cadaver laboratory alone.Although students perceived a benefit to practicing with the typodont, self-guided practice was not effective in decreasing the knowledge gap, most likely due to a lack of structured feedback with typodont use. Further investigation into the use of typodonts with direct feedback prior to structured laboratory or, alternatively, as an additional practice tool following a structured laboratory would further define if there is a benefit to typodont practice in veterinary dentistry.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2022 AAVMC.
- dental model
- student instruction