In vitro cavity and crown preparations and direct restorations carried out by Foundation Dentists (FDs) in the Oxford and Wessex Deaneries: A comparison of performance at the start and end of the FD programme

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Colleges, School and Institutes


To assess the performance and thereby the progress of the FDs when they carried out a number of simulated clinical exercises at the start and at the end of their FD year.
A standardised simulated clinical restorative dentistry training exercise was carried out by a group of 62 recently qualified dental graduates undertaking a 12 months’ duration foundation training programme in England, at both the start and end of the programme. Participants completed a Class II cavity preparation and amalgam restoration, a Class IV composite resin restoration and two preparations for a porcelain-metal full crown. The completed preparations and restorations were independently assessed by an experienced consultant in restorative dentistry, using a scoring system based on previously validated criteria. The data were subjected to statistical analysis.
There was wide variation in individual performance. Overall, there was a small but not statistically significant improvement in performance by the end of the
programme. A statistically significant improvement was observed for the amalgam preparation and restoration, and, overall, for one of the five geographical sub-groups in the study. Possible reasons for the variable performance and improvement are discussed as is the potential for a similar exercise to be used as part of summative assessment of the programme.
There was variability in the performance of the FDs. The operative performance of FDs at the commencement and end of their FD year indicated an overall moderately improved performance over the year and a statistically significant improvement in their performance with regard to amalgam restoration.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)605-611
JournalBritish Dental Journal
Early online date21 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017