Document Type : Original Article


Department of Orthodontics, Majmaah University, Al Majma’ah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


Background: Studies indicate that the initial transition period between preclinical and clinical
phases are the most stressful. The students have experienced the difficulty in performing clinical
procedures due to the vast difference in the clinical and preclinical setup. It is better to identify the
particular skill found poorly correlated, enabling educators to address the concerns. We sought
the opinion and suggestion from the beneficiary student on fixed prosthodontics steps difficult to
practice in clinical setup at the initial stage, their suggestion to overcome these shortcomings was
also sought. Aims: To determine the fixed prosthodontics skills difficult to perform in a transition
period due to poor correlation between preclinical and clinical training from our focus group study
on the student’s perception, and their suggestion regarding alternative methods to improve the
preclinical training. Materials and Methods: Focus groups in the study were the students involved
in clinical practice of fixed partial denture procedure. A well-constructed Questionnaire, designed
to evaluate the difficult clinical steps in a transitional period and suggestion to improve the existing
preclinical training was distributed to all focus group students. The response to the questionnaire
was based on the five-point Likert scale. Statistical Analysis Used: Medians, frequencies were
used to assess their perception on preclinical training and suggestion. Results: A total of 97
students participated in the study, 88% response received during the survey. The clinical steps
student felt difficult during a transition period from preclinical to clinical phase were positional
variations of teeth (52.6%-63.9%), fluid control (48.5-67.1%), shade selection procedure (29.9%-
50.5%), subgingival cervical finish line preparation (38.1-51.5%), and gingival retraction procedure.
The students felt that the inclusion of problem-based learning, preclinical patient exposure, and
better simulation will alleviate the stress during the transition period. Conclusions: This study
highlighted the tooth preparation steps found difficult to practice in a transition period between
preclinical and clinical phases. This study also
obtained suggestions from the students for
innovative upgradation of the course curricula.


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