Format of Original
American Dental Education Association
Journal of Dental Education
Original Item ID
Calibration in diagnosis and treatment planning is difficult to achieve due to variations that exist in clinical interpretation. To determine if dental faculty members are consistent in teaching how to diagnose and treat periodontal disease, variations among dental students can be evaluated. A previous study reported high variability in diagnoses and treatment plans of periodontal cases at Indiana University School of Dentistry. This study aimed to build on that one by extending the research to two additional schools: Marquette University School of Dentistry and West Virginia University School of Dentistry. Diagnosis and treatment planning by 40 third- and fourth-year dental students were assessed at each of the schools. Students were asked to select the diagnosis and treatment plans on a questionnaire pertaining to 11 cases. Their responses were compared using chi-square tests, and multirater kappa statistics were used to assess agreement between classes and between schools. Logistic regression models were used to evaluate the effects of school, class year, prior experience, and GPA/class rank on correct responses. One case had a statistically significant difference in responses between third- and fourth-year dental students. Kappas for school agreement and class agreement were low. The students from Indiana University had higher diagnosis and treatment agreements than the Marquette University students, and the Marquette students fared better than the West Virginia University students. This study can help restructure future periodontal courses for a better understanding of periodontal diagnosis and treatment planning.