Feb 17, 2010
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Maryland is an awesome school, with tons of new technology. The sim lab is incredible. But, does new technology really make a more competent dentist? Is the quality of the sim lab something to consider when choosing a dental school or does it not even matter? I personally feel that having my own personal monitor at my station in the sim lab, showing me exactly how to do the procedure would be far more helpful than having one instructor try to each the entire class. Do you agree? I guess my question is, is the sim lab an important part of dental education and should the quality, or lack thereof, determine choice of dental school?
 

jay47

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In my one year of limited experience, we have used the sim lab a few times where it has proven to be very useful. We have in lab cameras and can all watch the professor work. It is helpful, but honestly, you can do the same thing by watching a video in lecture. I would consider it a plus, not a huge benefit.

On the other hand, look at the type and quality of professors you will have as well as tuition. If a school has tuition 25% higher than another, it's probably to pay for things like an expensive sim lab. IMO, it would be better to go to the cheaper school, save some dough, and probably come out just as good in the end. As current students how they feel about faculty- are they happy, mostly happy, somewhat happy, etc...Unless they say mostly happy, there are probably going to be some issues. Make sure to try and get an unbiased opinion too.
 

OG1

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Don't go to a school just for the technology if the sticker price is significantly higher. You will learn just as much from a typodont on a steel rod as you will from a typodont on a fancy mannequin with cheeks and tongue and suction etc. Trust me, I've had personal experience with both. Sim lab can only take you so far, and bells and whistles will not add that much to the learning experience.
 

browncrack

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You will need some form of feedback on your handskills early on. However, personally Sim dent is probably only really useful for the first four or five preps in preclinic. After that, instructor feedback is more valuable. Plus, Sim dent only evaluates the prep, not the restoration. If Sim dent didn't spike cost of attendance more than $10/yr it would be worth it otherwise, videos on line or camera on the instructor are more than sufficient.
 

DrJeff

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Technology *CAN* be a wonderfull thing that *CAN* augment a clincians skills. However, not all technology works as great as the MANUFACTURERS REP says it will in everyone's hands/clinical situations :eek:

This is where your ability that you're hopefully learning as part of your education, to be able to CRITICALLY EVALUATE the literature about a product/device/material comes into play, especially before you as the dentist, contemplate spending what in the case of some devices can be a 6 figure some to have that technology in your office.
 
Jul 29, 2009
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dentaldawg32 -- U of Maryland has a pretty great overall reputation (ranked #1 by Top Ten Nation, FWIW), and the Sim lab would just be the tip of the iceberg, sounds like. I'd seriously consider attending UMB if accepted, Sim lab or no! :cool:
 
U

UDM H8tr

Maryland is an awesome school, with tons of new technology. The sim lab is incredible. But, does new technology really make a more competent dentist? Is the quality of the sim lab something to consider when choosing a dental school or does it not even matter? I personally feel that having my own personal monitor at my station in the sim lab, showing me exactly how to do the procedure would be far more helpful than having one instructor try to each the entire class. Do you agree? I guess my question is, is the sim lab an important part of dental education and should the quality, or lack thereof, determine choice of dental school?
I agree with most of the comments. While technology is great and can augment your education, don't put too much weight on it. You said:

"I personally feel that having my own personal monitor at my station in the sim lab, showing me exactly how to do the procedure would be far more helpful"

It's not really like that, at least not when I was at UDMSD. The monitor was used for lecture purposes only. Once the lecture was done, it served no purpose in helping students learn how to do a procedure.

The point, don't put too much weight on technology. You will become a competent clinician no matter where you graduate and no matter how much technology they integrate into learning.

I would more look into the quality of the learning environment and the learning experience and specifically how well current students like the learning environment and atmosphere. IMO, that is more important.

I have stated it before, I will say it again, my decision on which school to attend if I had it to do over again would be first based on location and cost and then I would narrow it down from there based on which school has the best learning atmosphere and environment.

Technology would have no bearing on where I would go to school. Technology along with clinical reputation, patient base, how nice the clinic seems, how nice the faculty seem, etc. That all may be a facade of an otherwise crappy school.
 

reapply2007

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I agree with the H8r. Save the Franklins. Technology, especially preclinic, is only a fifth or sixth consideration to make. But, if in clinic you could use cad cam or cerec for impressions and lab work this might be a game changer for admissions consideration.