Assessing Effectiveness of an Audiovisual Educational Tool for Improving Dental Students' Probing Depth Consistency

Srividya Prabhu, Vanchit John, Steven Blanchard, George J. Eckert, Yusuke Hamada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Dental students often underestimate their probing depth (PD) measurements, which emphasizes the need for effective and novel methods for teaching proper probing technique. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of audiovisual learning aids, recorded from the point of view of examiners, for improvement in PD agreement in dental students. In 2017-18, 22 third-year dental students were randomized into test and control groups. Each student and a single blinded faculty examiner performed PD measurements on a minimum of three patients. The test group viewed a video demonstrating proper probing technique, while the control group received only probing technique instruction from prior lectures. All measurements, the periodontal diagnoses, and the total time taken to complete PD measurements were recorded. A survey of student attitudes about the audiovisual tool was conducted after the intervention; all 22 students completed the survey. A total of 11,426 PD sites were measured. The test group had 10% greater accuracy in PD sites=4 mm. The control group had a minor but statistically significant increase in accuracy for 2 mm PD sites. For all incorrect measurements at sites PD≥4, the students tended to underestimate the PD. Tooth type, site location around tooth, and diagnosis had no significant effect on PD measurement agreement. No significant difference between groups was found for the proportions of gingivitis and periodontitis patients or for examination time. This study found that use of the audiovisual learning aid “Calibrated Periodontal Training Video” improved the students' probing depth accuracy for sites with PD of 4 mm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)429-436
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of dental education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019


  • audiovisual
  • clinical skills
  • dental education
  • educational technology
  • instructional materials/methods
  • periodontal disease
  • periodontics
  • probing depth
  • psychomotor skills
  • video

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Dentistry(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Assessing Effectiveness of an Audiovisual Educational Tool for Improving Dental Students' Probing Depth Consistency'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this