New training approach for improving the spatial perception and orientation ability of dentistry students

Asaf Shely*, Gil Ben-Izhack, Diva Lugassy, Shlomo Matalon, Raphael Pilo, Tamar Brosh, Eran Dolev

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: During a basic prosthetics course, dental students train on plastic teeth for fixed partial dentures (FPD). The complexity of manual skill acquisition and the need for extra training led us to develop a portable tool for home training (PhantHome). The aim of the current study was to assess whether training using the portable tool improves students fine motor skill, spatial perception, and orientation and may predict success in preclinical prosthetics courses. Material and Methods: A total of 42 third year dental students were included in this study. A valid dexterity test (Grooved Pegboard test) and a manual test using the portable tool (PhantHome) were conducted in direct and indirect visions using a mirror at two time points: T0: beginning of study, and T1: after training for one month with the portable tool at home. The students’ manual grades in the portable tool, Grooved test, and final prosthetics course grades were compared. Results: The results showed that indirect tasks were significantly more difficult to perform than direct tasks for PhantHome and Grooved tests at T0 and T1 (p < 0.0005). After practicing with the portable PhantHome tool (T1), the students’ scores of in PhantHome and Grooved tests improved significantly (p < 0.04). A regression analysis showed that students’ motor tasks scored at T0 predicted phantom course success in 86.8% of cases (p = 0.005). Conclusion: There was a positive transfer in learning: PhantHome training led to improved performance on the Grooved tests without further training on these tests. Therefore, training in the PhantHome tool can significantly improve performance in the prosthodontics phantom course. The prediction model predicted success in a prosthodontics course with 86% accuracy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9387
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number20
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2021


  • Dental student
  • Grooved Pegboard Test
  • Manual skills
  • PhantHome


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