First exposure of undergraduate students to removable prosthodontics concepts: opinions, attitudes and current trends in teaching

Nesreen Salim, Sandra AlTarawneh, Motasum Abu-Awwad

Abstract


Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the opinion of undergraduate students regarding the different taught preclinical and technical steps in complete denture (CD) and removable partial denture (RPD) courses. And to assess the difficulty of the prosthodontic courses in comparison with other preclinical courses such as conservative and endodontic courses.
Materials and methods: a questionnaire was distributed to 203 third year dental students. The questions were about the didactic and practical exercises for both CD and RPD.
Results: In CD course, 47.2% reported balanced occlusion as the most difficult theoretical topic and exercise to understand, 50% thought the most difficult step in balanced occlusion was to obtain balance on the non-working side, while 2.5% reported custom tray fabrication to be most difficult step. Morning lectures, afternoon labs, and live demonstrations were favoured by the majority. In RPD course 38.8% reported RPD design as the most difficult exercise and the second most difficult theoretical topic, followed by surveying, primary impression and custom tray construction. Kennedy class IV was the most difficult to design and adjacent occlusal rest seats were the most difficult to prepare. There was significant correlation between students’ practical marks and their opinion of practical course difficulty (coefficient 0.179, P= 0.035, for RPD) (coefficient 0.348, P= 0.000, for CD). The correlation coefficient between the students’ theoretical and practical marks was 0.132 and P= 0.099 was insignificant. Response rate was 88.6%.
Conclusions: Removable prosthodontics is one of the most difficult preclinical courses which requires a well-established and continuously updated curriculum. Therefore, continuous assessment of teaching methods is of paramount importance.

Keywords


Removable prosthodontic education, Preclinical dental education, Survey, Curriculum, Complete dentures, Partial dentures.

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