Macaroni and mops: dentistry’s new building blocks

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Macaroni and mops: dentistry’s new building blocks

Dentist and oral rehabilitation lecturer Dr Ebrahim Patel has his students smiling with innovative classes

Senior journalist

Mops and brooms as analytical dental instruments, wooden blocks built into a tooth, combined with Lego for added reference — these are all part of the new world of online dentistry teaching.

This ingenious concept - to give dental students a clear, three-dimensional tutorial on how to perform a root canal treatment - is the brainchild of Dr Ebrahim Patel, the head of preclinical teaching: operative dentistry and endodontics at Wits University’s School of Oral Health Sciences in Johannesburg.

Patel said dentistry teaching took a huge knock during Covid-19, when the country went into complete lockdown and all teaching had to move online...

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