Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago are working on optimizing haptic interactive technologies to be more realistic and practical for fine hand work such as dentistry, and have released a dental training simulator called PerioSim that utilizes much of their work.
Students can access PerioSim via the Internet. A realistic 3-D human mouth is shown in real-time, and the user can adjust the model position, viewpoint and transparency level.
The haptic device allows the student to feel the sensations in the virtual mouth, and a control panel lets the user choose different procedures to practice and instruments to use, Steinberg [Dr. Arnold Steinberg, professor of periodontics at UIC and project leader –ed.] said.
The system allows instructors to create short scenarios of periodontal procedures, which can be saved and replayed at any time. The 3-D component permits students to replay from any angle, so the user can observe different views of the placement of the instrument and gingival relationships during a procedure, Steinberg said.
The recorded file can be viewed on any personal computer, and while not in 3-D, it is an actual representation of the original scenario, which offers great training potential, Steinberg said.
The program also allows for a second playback mode, where an instructor leads the trainee through the program. By simply holding onto the haptic stylus, the trainee receives the same sensations felt by the instructor. Trainees can also be tested and evaluated on their ability to mimic the instructor’s periodontal procedures, Steinberg said.
Demonstration video of the simulator:
Press release: Practice Makes Perfect with 3-D Dental Simulator
(hat tip: The Raw Feed)