The use of haptics to predict preclinic operative dentistry performance and Perceptual Ability

Alice Urbankova, Steven P. Engebretson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was to test whether performance on a range of manual dexterity haptic simulator exercises was associated with preclinical operative dentistry examination and Perceptual Ability Test (PAT) scores. Thirty-nine first-year dental students were tested with three haptic exercises-straight line, circle, and mirror line-each performed twice. Haptic exercise outcomes for accuracy, time, and success rate were measured using commercially available computer software. Spearman correlation coefficients and Student's t-test were used to assess the results. PAT and exam scores were not significantly correlated. Significant correlations were observed between exam scores and both time and accuracy scores for the circle and mirror exams. These results suggest that haptic devices have a potential role in predicting performance in preclinical dental education. Further studies are warranted to develop and validate diagnostic testing strategies for dental students and to evaluate implementation of haptics in the dental teaching environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1548-1557
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of dental education
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011


  • Assessment
  • Computer-assisted instruction
  • Dental education
  • Dental school admissions testing
  • Educational methodology
  • Haptics
  • Operative dentistry
  • Perceptual Ability Test
  • Psychomotor performance
  • Psychomotor skills
  • Simulation
  • Virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Dentistry


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