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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 25-27

Integration of dental education for knowledge retention: Review of literature

1 Department of Biomaterials, Faculty of Dentistry, Gulf Medical University, Ajman, UAE
2 Department of Oral Surgery, Faculty of Oral and Dental Medicine, Gulf Medical University, Ajman, UAE

Date of Web Publication11-Aug-2016

Correspondence Address:
Hoda GH Hammad
Department of Biomaterials, Faculty of Dentistry, Gulf Medical University, Ajman
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2229-6360.188221

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The concept of applying integration in many carriers has impressed the educational directors and the facilitators with multiple glorious advantages. The benefits obtained from integrated systems of education include strong base of scientific knowledge, deep understand learning, ability of self-integration, creation potential, long-term retention, and capability to correlate the past with the present for greater innovation of the future. The integrated medical education has been highly successful in many medical schools and starts to offer precious fruit when implemented recently in certain dental fields. Some educational systems can be well integrated into building blocks both horizontally and vertically such as self-directed education and problem-based learning. In this review, a trial was undergone to discuss the idea of integration of dental education, its preclinical and clinical implementations, its advantages and disadvantages, and its pitfalls.

Keywords: Curriculum; dental education; integrated education; problem-based learning

How to cite this article:
Hammad HG, Hamed MS. Integration of dental education for knowledge retention: Review of literature. Indian J Multidiscip Dent 2016;6:25-7

How to cite this URL:
Hammad HG, Hamed MS. Integration of dental education for knowledge retention: Review of literature. Indian J Multidiscip Dent [serial online] 2016 [cited 2022 Nov 27];6:25-7. Available from: https://www.ijmdent.com/text.asp?2016/6/1/25/188221

  Introduction Top

For state-of-the-art patient dental care, the 21 st century has suddenly introduced a new paradigm regarding the expected recent standards in dentistry. Actually, previous traditional products and technologies that have served the dental profession well are being reevaluated within the context of the evidence-based rationales and the developing information/technologies. [1],[2],[3] Advances and discoveries in all aspects of science continue to progress at an exponential rate, generating a wealth of new knowledge and technologies that have the potential to improve dentistry. This "new science" in the field of cell/molecular biology, genetics, tissue engineering, nanotechnology, and informatics had been feasible for several years; however, the acculturation of these progressing information/technologies into the dental curriculum was not fast. [4],[5],[6],[7]

Concerning the dental profession and the patients, modern science, updated knowledge, and recent technologies should be incorporated into the mainstream of dental education to benefit fully from them. [8],[9],[10],[11] Consequently, the continued evolution of an integrated dental curriculum presents a major challenge to dental schools, administrations, and electorates due to the high expenses, overcrowded teaching schedules, clinical training, alternative nature of teaching/assessment protocols, and huge scope of new substances impacting all parts of the educational dental curriculum. [12],[13],[14],[15]

Accordingly, Iacopino, 2007, [16] perceived the advances in all aspects of dental sciences and the continued evolution that proceeded fast, conducting to a great wealth of modern knowledge and high technologies having the potential to innovate diverse dental practices. Professor Dr. Iacopino, Department of General Dental Sciences and associate dean for research and graduate studies, School of Dentistry, Marquette University, wrote that review article as one of a series of associated cooperation by the dental education community members, who had been commissioned by the American Dental Education Association Commission on Change and Innovation (ADEA CCI) in dental education to interpret the environment, which surrounds the dental education and affects the important process of curricular alteration. Although the ADEA CCI requested the author to organize this article, without necessarily recommending the vision of the ADEA, the ADEA CCI, or the CCI members, there communicated perspectives were belonging only to the author.

For maintaining dentistry status as a highly appreciated scientifically based oral health profession, dentistry should respect and include these evolutional advances within its integrated education and patient care protocols. The intended continued evolution of dental profession strictly depends on the discipline's potential to incorporate the new sciences into smart-integrated interdisciplinary implements in clinical settings. [17]

In addition, Hendricson and Cohen [18] emphasized the continued viability of the dental profession; the dental education team is the one responsible for facilitating the improvement of institutional infrastructures, which support the recent scientific and technological dental advances and respond positively to it. Traditionally, dental education in the United States had been characterized by being discipline-based, and lecture-style of teaching that intensifies technical expertise, [19] with little attention paid to developing the critical thinking/problem-solving dental skills and redesign of innovated content/teaching methods. Then, it conducted to autonomic, stagnant, overcrowded, and shortly retained educational dental curriculum. [20],[21]

Pyle et al. [8] introduced dental education's major challenges; that article was an initial new dialog about the essential demand for integrated transformation in dental education and in inspiring deliberate activities for creation and development. Evidently, while faculty dental education is subjected to diverse winds of developing changes higher education, dental profession is also situated in a troubled oral health care system that requires modification in the face of an aging and more racially and ethnically variable society. In general, these perspectives were motivating to ask about the principles of dental educational practice and teaching. Furthermore, they discussed the ability of dentistry to be self-dependent as a learned profession contributing to the mission of research by innovating new knowledge in the university settings.

Howard et al. [22] underwent an educational research project for evaluating a dental school curriculum aiming to determine the extent of the originally intended vertical and horizontal integration. A faculty who represented a historical perspective and dominant concepts of the definitions of an integrated curriculum was reoriented. Then, a survey instrument plan was given to all the course directors of the college, requesting them to individually assign teaching programs to one of the established ten models of curriculum integration. Analyzing the obtained survey results facilitated mapping of each of the 84 educational courses to four integrated themes. They used Chi-square analysis that showed distribution of courses in a pattern of classic bell-shaped curve along the continuum of integration. The 4 th year courses represented highest levels of integration in the study while there was no course corresponding to the lowest level. All faculty courses were possessed at least certain degree of integration. Moreover, above 50% (n = 43) were assigned to be both horizontally and vertically integrated dental education.

Recently, consensus in implant dentistry report recommended that upon graduation, dental students should attain a highly significant level of retained knowledge and professional competence. Those basic dental competences were in preventive protocols, clinical diagnosis, oral treatment planning, restorative procedures, and maxillofacial surgeries. Therefore, integration of the undergraduate curricula was important for implant dentistry.

The narrative review of Koole and De Bruyn [23] explored the educational dental curricula in terms of the basic dental competences, the related researches, and obstacles or feedbacks, concerning its applications for undergraduate dental programs. The 2008-2013 published articles were assembled systematically in PubMed, ERIC, and Web of Science and were independently analyzed with two authors following four steps: Elimination of duplicates, title surveying, abstract interpreting, and full-text studying. For the undergraduate dental education, the inclusion criteria surrounded implantology in dentistry.

Then, 37 out of 420 publications were collected and all information details as regard to curriculum content, number of students, staff incorporated, and funding/logistics subjects were dispersed. The theoretical dental education was predominant while the preclinical/clinical practicing was few and mostly in elective curricula. However, eluted simple clinical cases were dental treated by undergraduate students yielding promising positive educational outcomes with small percentage of failure, little complications, good patient satisfaction, and high student appreciation. In the undergraduate curriculum, the pitfalls to implementation of implant dentistry involved were fund issues, insufficient time or learners with the required competence, and lack of indicated patients for dental implants. Trying to overcome those barriers is beneficial as experience-based implant education improves future practice because well-informed candidates suggest the best restorative treatment alternatives to the dental patients.

  Conclusion Top

However, implant dentistry is exponentially integrated in the dental undergraduate curricula; certain challenges still exist in developing strategies aiming to implement the current competence profiles and the amplitude of experience-based education. To enhance further progression, dental colleges should proclaim comprehensively on their implantology programs to motivate comparison and reproducibility in other setting.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

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