Assessing outcomes of curricular change: a view from program graduates.
Graduates of dental programs constitute a stakeholder group that is able to provide unique information concerning the effectiveness of the dental curriculum in preparing them for dental careers. Following the implementation of planned curricular changes, graduates of the former and the new curricula were surveyed. Results indicate that, while both groups perceive themselves to have been adequately prepared by their D.D.S. program for practice, graduates of the new curriculum indicated a higher level of preparedness in several areas, especially regarding selecting, prescribing and administering pharmacotherapeutic agents. In addition, the results suggest that the change in the first two years from an emphasis on basic sciences and preclinical laboratory work to an early introduction to live dental patients and the integration of foundation sciences and clinical courses were endorsed. The evidence gathered from this alumni survey indicates that the reforms implemented in the dental curriculum were appropriate. Areas requiring further investigation are also discussed. (+info)
The EXCEL Program: strengthening diversity.
The Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (BUSDM) initiated a program in the summer of 1993 to strengthen diversity in the entering class of first-year students. The Experiential Center for Excellence in Learning (EXCEL) Program is a voluntary, one-month-long prematriculation experience that combines didactic, laboratory, study skills, and social activities to prepare participants to transition into the rigorous first-year curriculum. From 1996 to 2000, ninety students participated in EXCEL. The two primary reasons cited for participating were to become familiar with the school, faculty, and classmates and to strengthen basic science background. Participants' ages ranged from twenty to over forty. Fifty-nine percent of participants had been out of college for more than one year; 10 percent had been out of school for three years or more. Thirty percent listed nontraditional predental school majors. Fifty-six percent listed a country other than the United States as country of birth. Of those completing an exit survey, 96 percent reported that EXCEL strengthened their decision to study dentistry, and 97 percent would recommend that future entering BUSDM students participate in EXCEL. The EXCEL Program may serve as a model for increasing diversity in U.S. dental school enrollment. (+info)
Trends in allied dental education: an analysis of the past and a look to the future.
Allied dental healthcare providers have been an integral part of the dental team since the turn of the 19th century. Like dental education, allied dental education's history includes a transition from apprenticeships and proprietary school settings to dental schools and community and technical colleges. There are currently 258 dental assisting programs, 255 dental hygiene programs, and 28 dental laboratory technology programs according to the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation. First-year enrollment increased 9.5 percent in dental hygiene education from 1994/95 to 1998/99, while enrollment in dental assisting programs declined 7 percent and declined 31 percent in dental laboratory technology programs during the same period. Program capacity exceeds enrollment in all three areas of allied dental education. Challenges facing allied dental education include addressing the dental practicing community's perception of a shortage of dental assistants and dental hygienists and increasing pressure for career tracks that do not require education in ADA Commission on Dental Accreditation accredited programs. The allied dental workforce may also be called upon for innovative approaches to improve access to oral health care and reduce oral health care disparities. In addition, allied dental education programs may face challenges in recruiting faculty with the desired academic credentials. ADEA is currently pursuing initiatives in these and other areas to address the current and emerging needs of allied dental education. (+info)
Relationships of admissions data and measurements of psychological constructs with psychomotor performance of dental technology students.
Abstract: The psychomotor skills required in dental laboratory technology and dentistry are similar. Dental educators have recognized the problems in selecting from among dental school applicants those with potential psychomotor skills. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships of admissions data and measurements of psychological constructs of dental technology students with their psychomotor performance in first-semester dental laboratory courses. The dependent variables selected for the study were grades from three laboratory courses. Significant positive correlations (p<.05) were noted between all laboratory grades and previous college hours, previous college GPA, interview scores, field dependence-independence scores, block counting, trust, straightforwardness, and dutifulness. These data indicate that individual differentiation in learning ability, visual or spatial perception, and personality do affect psychomotor learning and should be taken into consideration in the design and execution of teaching and training curricula. (+info)
Blood mercury levels of dental students and dentists at a dental school.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the blood mercury levels in dental students and clinical teaching staff in a dental school using amalgam as a restorative material. SETTING: A dental school in Ege University, Turkey surveyed during one academic year. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Cross-sectional study of groups of dental students (n=92) in years I to V, clinical teachers in restorative dentistry (n=16) and controls (n=14). Mercury concentration was estimated in venous blood samples using a cold vapour atomic absorption method at the commencement and end of the academic year. Daily air mercury levels were determined in clinical and teaching areas by measuring the darkening of palladium chloride discs using spectrophotometry. RESULTS: There were statistically significant increases (p<0.001) in plasma mercury concentration between measurements in all groups at the end of the academic year. Red cell mercury levels were also consistently elevated. Although the highest levels of mercury were recorded in persons working with amalgam, increased levels were also found in subjects working in the teaching classrooms but not with amalgam (controls and first year students). CONCLUSION: Increased mercury levels appeared to be due to background exposure from spillage of mercury and amalgam residues on floors. Increased mercury hygiene and regular control of working atmosphere should be implemented to prevent mercury exposure in the dental pre-clinical laboratory. (+info)
Variations in tooth preparations for resin-bonded all-ceramic crowns in general dental practice.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate variations in tooth preparations for resin-bonded all-ceramic crowns (RBCs) in general dental practice (GDP). DESIGN: Laboratory-based retrospective analysis of dies for RBCs. SETTING: General dental practices in the UK and Ireland (2000). METHODS: A sample (n = 132) of laboratory models containing 180 tooth preparations for RBCs, featuring work from different general dental practitioners was obtained from four commercial dental laboratories. Aspects of the preparations were quantified and compared with accepted criteria defined following a review of the literature. RESULTS: The teeth found to be most frequently prepared for RBCs were maxillary incisors (41%). Margin positions were variably positioned with 29% of the preparations on the buccal aspect having subgingival margins. There were many tooth preparation dies for low fusing RBCs (47%) and Chameleon Fortress RBCs (62%) demonstrating overpreparation in the mesiodistal plane. The majority of the margins (84% buccally and 79% lingually) of the dies examined exhibited appropriate shoulder or chamfer finishes. Of the Chameleon Fortress preparations analysed, 86% had been underprepared occlusally. 42% of the teeth had been prepared with no regard to tooth morphology and demonstrated just one plane of reduction. The majority (93%) of the clinicians failed to provide any information regarding the shade of the prepared tooth stump. CONCLUSIONS: On the evidence of this survey of this sample of general dental practitioners' work, it was found that relevant guidelines for the preparations of RBCs are not being fully adhered to. (+info)
Level of silica in the respirable dust inhaled by dental technicians with demonstration of respirable symptoms.
Dental technicians are exposed to various dusts in working laboratories. This study was conducted to measure level of silica in the respirable dust generated from dental fixed prosthodontics manufacturing processes using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), and to compare their occurrence of respiratory symptoms with that of non-dental hospital workers (control group). Respirable dusts were personally sampled from dental technicians working at dental laboratories in Seoul Korea according to NIOSH Method 0600. Fifty personal samples were obtained during porcelain or polishing process and weighed by a gravimetric method. Concentration of respirable dust was 651 +/- 548 microg/m3 (Mean +/- SD) with highest concentration of 2,874 microg/m3 during the porcelain process and 725 +/- 414 microg/m3 with highest concentration of 1,764 microg/m3 during the polishing process. Concentration of silica was 6.51 +/- 6.07 microg/m3 with 18.85 microg/m3 highest and 14.88 +/- 11.21 microg/m3 with 50.98 microg/m3 highest for the porcelain and polishing process, respectively. Level of silica contents in the dust was 0.81% and 1.66% for the porcelain and polishing process, respectively. The level of silica contents and silica concentration were significantly different between the two processes. Comparing prevalence of respiratory symptoms between non-smoking seventeen dental technicians and thirty-five control workers, wheezing and rhinorrhea were significantly more manifested in the dental technicians than the controls. Total frequency of respiratory symptoms was also significantly higher in the dental technicians than the controls. (+info)
Silicosis in dental laboratory technicians--five states, 1994-2000.
Silicosis is a debilitating, sometimes fatal, yet preventable occupational lung disease caused by inhaling respirable crystalline silica dust. Although crystalline silica exposure and silicosis have been associated historically with work in mining, quarrying, sandblasting, masonry, founding, and ceramics, certain materials and processes used in dental laboratories also place technicians at risk for silicosis. During 1994--2000, occupational disease surveillance programs in five states identified nine confirmed cases of silicosis among persons who worked in dental laboratories; four persons resided in Michigan, two in New Jersey, and one each in Massachusetts, New York, and Ohio. This report describes three of the cases and underscores the need for employers of dental laboratory technicians to ensure appropriate control of worker exposure to crystalline silica. (+info)