Dental education research
Exploring the development and evaluation of dental education
The demand for dental care is unceasing. Within an ageing population, people are retaining their teeth to an older age and requiring more complex dental treatment and maintenance at their dental practices. Dental teams need to cope with a diverse population with ever-changing disease patterns.
Our research focuses on the development and evaluation of innovative education for the dental team. We develop new operative and learning tools for dentistry – such as the use of Teledentistry in dental education – and collaborate with industrial partners, such as Kerr Dental, to test different dental materials and techniques.
We aim to develop health care professionals who can meet the changing demands of the population, and the outcomes of our research could improve the training of the dental care workforce pre and post-qualification. Our work researching interprofessional and outreach activities have also led to improved knowledge, practices and access to dental care for hard-to-reach communities, such as the homeless.
Our research covers the following topics
- Innovation in dental education
- Technology enhanced learning
- Inter-professional education
We use interviews, surveys and focus groups in our research and conduct experimental design where new training approaches are trialled – including simulation and interprofessional training with other health care professionals, such as optometrists.
Our dental education research is conducted using electronic systems of monitoring student performance, phantom head facilities, simulation technology for training, and outreach training experiences in the local community.
Louca, C., Sparrius, M., Sparrius, S. K., Sparrius, O. (2022) "Exploring narrative feedback to undergraduate dental hygiene and dental therapy students", Journal of Dental Education
Potential educational and workforce strategies to meet the oral health challenges of an increasingly older population: a qualitative study
Prosser, G. M., Louca, C., Radford, D. R. (2022) "Potential educational and workforce strategies to meet the oral health challenges of an increasingly older population: a qualitative study", BDJ Open
Leung, A., Fine, P. D., Blizard, R., Tonni, I., Ilhan, D., Louca, C. (2022) "Teacher feedback and student learning - the students’ perspective", Journal of Dentistry
Cuthbert, J., Louca, C., Radford, D. (2021) "Should mentoring become routine practice in dental nurse education, pre and post registration?", BDJ Team
Radford, D. R., Louca, C. (2020) "A new era for dental education", British Dental Journal
How post-graduate foundation training schemes for Dental Therapists (DT) prepare them for independent practice?
Led by Mrs Laura Cox, funded by the Oral and Dental Research Trust-Robin Davis Award. The aim of this study was to examine the efficacy of postgraduate foundation training for DTs and evaluate whether participation increased clinical confidence, to investigate whether participation in the scheme enhanced career prospects and to determine barriers encountered by DTs in securing suitable positions, inclusive of Covid-19 restrictions.
Led by Mrs Rachel Haddow and Dr Marina Harris. This project is assessing sources of perceived stress and well-being amongst qualified Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists. The study explores the daily undertakings performed by Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapist that facilitate and contribute to stress in the workplace e.g. patient care, compliance, note writing, medical emergencies, fear of litigation, working with / without nursing support and relationship with Dentists / team dynamic.