Teaching dental anatomy & morphology: An updated clinical- & digital-based learning module

Rowida Abdalla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Introduction: Dental Anatomy and morphology learning is an essential component of the dental curriculum; students introduced to dental morphology in a detailed textbook style lecture format often have difficulty transferring that knowledge to the associated clinically related activities. The purpose of this article is to describe the rationale, components and advantages of an updated dental anatomy module and present a comparison of student course evaluations for those who received the updated module (CDM) versus those who received the traditional module (TM). Method: An updated module was implemented at the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry (UKCD). The updated module consisted of clinically based lectures and incorporated digital technologies in both lecture and laboratory portions of the course as well as a patient-based aesthetic wax-up exercise. The goal of the updated module is to shift emphasis away from decontextualised technical learning towards more active and clinically applicable learning that improves classroom interaction and takes advantage of the current technologies available. Results: The results were statistically analysed using a two-sample t test. The updated module was statistically significantly highly rated by students. Conclusion: The updated module was highly appreciated and rated by students. An update to the educational method of teaching dental anatomy and morphology is proposed, clinical dental anatomy teaching results in enhanced students’ engagement and assessment. More research and proper strategic planning for implementation of digital technology into the dental anatomy curriculum are needed to adequately utilise these resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)650-659
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Dental Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
I would like to acknowledge the efforts of the restorative division at UKCD for assisting in the implementation of the updated module, specifically the dental anatomy & morphology course faculty members; Dr. Elizangela Bertoli, Dr. Susan Bishop, Dr. Richard Stoss, Dr. Mike Sadler and Mr. Greg Zoll as well as the restorative division chief: Dr. Howard Roberts, the previous division chief: Dr. Robert Kovarik and the digital dentistry team. Many thanks to the Chair of Oral health practice: Dr. Robert Frazer and UKCD Dean: Jeffrey Okeson.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd


  • computer-assisted instruction
  • dental anatomy
  • digital dentistry
  • educational methodology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Dentistry (all)


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