Dr. Nassani debriefs with dental students after class

Dr. Nassani Reflects on ETI Integration for Dental Course

Dr. Leonardo Nassani, DMD, MBA, assistant professor at The Ohio State University College of Dentistry, has a proven formula for effectively integrating multiple EdTech Incubator (ETI) technology zones into his Operative Dentistry 4 course. As part of the course, dental students design dental onlays in a dentistry lab and then learn how to convert their designs into 3D printer-compatible files in the ETI's computer lab. The students then print their designs in the ETI's 3D printing zone before going back to the dentistry lab to perform integrity tests and reflect on their designs.

For his most recent course, Dr. Nassani also incorporated Health Sciences Library (HSL) research and education librarian-led instruction in the important area of critical appraisal. This instruction was conducted in the ETI's Technology-Enhanced Classroom (TEC). Below are Dr. Nassani's reflections on the importance of critical appraisal for dental students, in his own words.

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Critical appraisal is a crucial skill for dental students as it equips them with the ability to evaluate and analyze scientific literature, research studies and emerging technologies within the field. In the context of digital dentistry, where technological advancements play an essential role, the ability to critically appraise information becomes even more relevant. By practicing these skills, dental students can navigate the vast amount of information available in digital platforms, distinguishing between credible research and unsubstantiated claims. In dental education, critical appraisal serves as a foundation for evidence-based practice to ensure the highest levels of patient care.

During a research workshop at the Health Sciences Library (HSL) as part of the Operative Dentistry 4 course, dental students had the opportunity to put critical appraisal into practice. Led by Kerry Dhakal, HSL research and education librarian and associate professor, students were guided in critically appraising non-peer-reviewed dental technology articles and comparing them with published literature to assess the accuracy of intraoral dental scanners.

Another emerging example of evolving digital information is that of generative Artificial Intelligence (AI), which is causing the accuracy and reliability of academic and scholarly works to be called into question. Cultivating critical appraisal skills under the specialized guidance of a librarian promotes informational scrutiny and contributes to upholding academic standards in conjunction with technological AI advancements.

Librarians, recognized experts in information retrieval, literature search strategies and database utilization, play an essential role in supporting dental students' general research skills. In the dynamic fields of healthcare and dentistry, librarians can guide students through navigating databases to locate relevant and up-to-date literature. Librarians contribute significantly to the development of effective research skills, enabling students to conduct thorough literature reviews and stay well-informed on the latest advancements in digital dentistry. This support is particularly crucial for critical appraisal. By leveraging the expertise of a librarian, dental students not only enhance their critical appraisal skills but also foster a lifelong learning approach, promoting continuous improvement and adaptability in the ever-evolving field of dentistry.

Dr. Leo Nassani, DMD, MBA
Assistant Dean for Digital Dentistry and Advanced Technology
Assistant professor at The Ohio State University College of Dentistry


Dr. Nassani helping at FAME resource event
Caption: Dr. Nassani stands in front of ETI banner at the 2024 FAME Resource Event