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VOLUME 16 , ISSUE 5 ( May, 2015 ) > List of Articles


Evaluation of an Innovative Digital Assessment Tool in Dental Anatomy

Matt T Lam, So Ran Kwon, Fang Qian, Gerald E Denehy

Citation Information : Lam MT, Kwon SR, Qian F, Denehy GE. Evaluation of an Innovative Digital Assessment Tool in Dental Anatomy. J Contemp Dent Pract 2015; 16 (5):366-371.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10024-1691

Published Online: 01-10-2015

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2015; The Author(s).



The E4D Compare software is an innovative tool that provides immediate feedback to students’ projects and competencies. It should provide consistent scores even when different scanners are used which may have inherent subtle differences in calibration. This study aimed to evaluate potential discrepancies in evaluation using the E4D Compare software based on four different NEVO scanners in dental anatomy projects. Additionally, correlation between digital and visual scores was evaluated.

Materials and methods

Thirty-five projects of maxillary left central incisors were evaluated. Among these, thirty wax-ups were performed by four operators and five consisted of standard dentoform teeth. Five scores were obtained for each project: one from an instructor that visually graded the project and from four different NEVO scanners. A faculty involved in teaching the dental anatomy course blindly scored the 35 projects. One operator scanned all projects to four NEVO scanners (D4D Technologies, Richardson, TX, USA). The images were aligned to the gold standard, and tolerance set at 0.3 mm to generate a score. The score reflected percentage match between the project and the gold standard. One-way ANOVA with repeated measures was used to determine whether there was a significant difference in scores among the four NEVO scanners. Paired-sample t-test was used to detect any difference between visual scores and the average scores of the four NEVO scanners. Pearson's correlation test was used to assess the relationship between visual and average scores of NEVO scanners.


There was no significant difference in mean scores among four different NEVO scanners [F(3, 102) = 2.27, p = 0.0852 one-way ANOVA with repeated measures]. Moreover, the data provided strong evidence that a significant difference existed between visual and digital scores (p = 0.0217; a pairedsample t-test). Mean visual scores were significantly lower than digital scores (72.4 vs 75.1). Pearson's correlation coefficient of 0.85 indicated a strong correlation between visual and digital scores (p < 0.0001).


The E4D Compare software provides consistent scores even when different scanners are used and correlates well with visual scores.

Clinical significance

The use of innovative digital assessment tools in dental education is promising with the E4D Compare software correlating well with visual scores and providing consistent scores even when different scanners are used.

How to cite this article

Lam MT, Kwon SR, Qian F, Denehy GE. Evaluation of an Innovative Digital Assessment Tool in Dental Anatomy. J Contemp Dent Pract 2015;16(5):366-371.

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