University of Oulu

Kangas, H.; Karki, S.; Tanner, T.; Laajala, A.; Kyngäs, H.; Anttonen, V. A Hands-On Exercise on Caries Diagnostics among Dental Students—A Qualitative Study. Dent. J. 2021, 9, 113.

A hands-on exercise on caries diagnostics among dental students : a qualitative study

Saved in:
Author: Kangas, Heidi1; Karki, Saujanya1; Tanner, Tarja1;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Oral Health Sciences, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 5281, 90014 Oulu, Finland
2Medical Research Center, Oulu University Hospital, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 21, 90029 Oulu, Finland
3Research Unit of Nursing Sciences and Health Management, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 5281, 90014 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.1 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-11-16


According to current care practices, the aim is to prevent the onset of caries lesions and to stop the progression of incipient lesions. A visual lesion assessment system, International Caries Detection and Assessment System (ICDAS), has been developed to promote reliability and repeatability of assessment of different stage caries lesions. The aims of this study were to evaluate the experiences of a hands-on exercise with authentic teeth as an adjunct to lecturing among third-year dental students and to evaluate the learning process during the hands-on exercise measured by qualitative (inductive content) analysis of the given feedback. In 2018, 51 third-year dental students at the University of Oulu, Finland, participated in a hands-on exercise on caries detection, where they assessed the depth and activity of lesions in extracted teeth using the ICDAS classification. After the lecture, students evaluated the exercise, giving feedback according to five given topics, three of which were analyzed using inductive content analysis. The exercise was considered useful and necessary but, overall, also challenging. The diverse activities and materials, as well as observational methods, promoted learning. The classification of lesions, the diagnostic methods, and the fact that there was not enough time to adopt things during the exercise were found to be challenging. For developing the exercise, the students suggested that more time should be scheduled for it and there should be more individual teaching. This qualitative study showed that, despite the challenge in caries diagnostics, dental students perceive the hands-on exercise as both a communal and individual learning experience.

see all

Series: Dentistry journal
ISSN: 2304-6767
ISSN-E: 2304-6767
ISSN-L: 2304-6767
Volume: 9
Issue: 10
Article number: 113
DOI: 10.3390/dj9100113
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 313 Dentistry
Copyright information: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (