3d-printed teeth with multicolored layers as a tool for evaluating cavity preparation by dental students

Diva Lugassy, Mohamed Awad, Asaf Shely, Moshe Davidovitch, Raphael Pilo, Tamar Brosh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Accurate assessment of dental student performance during preclinical operative mannequin courses is an essential milestone within the educational process. Training on novel, multicolored 3D-printed teeth resulted in higher performances of the students in comparison to training on standard, monochromatic plastic teeth. However, low reliability of students’ grading using standard, monochromatic plastic teeth was reported. The aim of this study was to verify whether the use of 3D multicolored teeth can (1) provide better inter-and intra-examiner reliability, and (2) assess the effect of instructors’ experience on their reliability. The novel tooth analogs consisted of digitally planned and 3D-printed plastic teeth containing green, yellow, and red stratifications according to increasing depths of preparation. Thirty-seven dental students performed three Class I preparations on the 3D-printed teeth, and these underwent blind evaluation by two examiners of varied experience at two timepoints. The data were compared with preparations done on conventional (monochromatic) plastic teeth. Results indicated excellent inter-examiner reliability on 3D-printed teeth (0.768 < ICC < 0.929), but only moderate reliability with conventional plastic teeth (0.314 < ICC < 0.672). The examiner having more experience was found to show higher intra-examiner reliability (ICC = 0.716 and 0.612 using 3D-printed teeth and conventional teeth, respectively) than the less experienced examiner (ICC = 0.481 and 0.095 using 3D-printed teeth and conventional teeth, respectively). The novel, multicolored 3D-printed teeth can provide more objective evaluation of cavity preparation compared with conventional plastic teeth.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6406
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number14
StatePublished - 2 Jul 2021


  • 3D-printed teeth
  • Cavity preparation
  • Dental students
  • Teachers’ evaluation


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