Virtual Reality in Dental Training and Simulation

Posted: May 16, 2018

Virtual Reality in Dental Training and Simulation image

Virtual Reality in Dental Training and Simulation

Virtual reality simulators in healthcare training are no longer a novelty. In fact, they are becoming an essential element of modern education in the medical market. Ultrasound simulators, surgical simulators, and other training and simulation medical devices have been on the market for a while, and they’re becoming more prevalent in the dental market. Dental training has its own unique challenges, and innovators in the dental market are utilizing motion tracking technology to make dental training a painless process, and maybe…even fun!

Challenges in Dental Education

Among the challenges with dental education is a lack of research and teaching faculty. This makes it difficult to have an adequate amount of scientific research; transferring the research that is practical and available to the clinical setting is an even greater challenge. Like other areas of healthcare, training simulators are becoming the dental training solution for a common problem in medical education--limited experienced faculty, budgetary parameters and rapidly evolving training needs.

Shortage of Dental Professionals

The need for adequate training in dental education is also tied to a supply and demand issue with regards to current and projected dental professionals. According to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), it’s estimated that the U.S. has a shortage of 7,300 dentists, as of 2018. This calls for training a higher volume of students, and planning for dental education that’s streamlined and cost effective, while maintaining quality. To achieve this, a meeting of the minds is needed, employing the expertise of knowledgeable dental professionals, academics, and business enterprise.

According to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), it’s estimated that the U.S. has a shortage of 7,300 dentists, as of 2018.

GEOTAR-Media Leading the Way in Dental Simulation

GEOTAR-Media is a leading Russian company known for delivering solutions for various types of medical education in multiple ways. As subject matter experts and thought leaders, GEOTAR-Media was originally established as a publishing company in 1994. Focused on medical education from the beginning, they evolved to house a software division, developing books, journals and a robust e-library for physicians and medical schools.

Currently, they serve as a distributor of many products, but their signature product is Leonardo, a leading dental simulator developed for training and objective assessment in dentistry. With their long-standing background in medical education, and their connections in the medical market, they have figured out the right mix of people to truly understand and deliver a product that’s proving to be a stop-gap in dental education training.

Our R&D department consists not only of engineers, but faculty and practitioners with good experience to create the best products for medical education.

                                                                                                                                                                                           Alexandra Alekseeva, GEOTAR-Media

Leonardo is a hybrid dental simulator with virtual instrument tracking capabilities. The simulator tracks interventions on teeth models in real time and gives comprehensive feedback on all procedures.

The innovative simulator includes training on many standard and advanced dental procedures including, but not limited to: history taking, selection of anesthesia type specific to the patient, and the accuracy of overall preparation for this, as well as the full anesthesia process. Watch the Leonard Dental Training Simulator Video!

Efficiency Rules

The simulator measures efficiency, training students to manage their time with a patient and time to complete a particular skill. Total time is tracked, as well as how the specific time is used. The percentage of removed healthy tissues, as well as any excess movements are measured. This not only assesses current skill levels and baselines, but allows for the important objective metric associated with learning--improvement.

The real time feedback is achieved by using Polhemus electromagnetic motion tracking technology. Using the Polhemus 6DOF tracking system provides accurate data, and eliminates subjective feedback, bias, and other training inhibitors--providing an objective way to assess fine motor skills, technique, and more.

Tiny Micro Sensors™ are seamlessly integrated into the actual tools used in clinical dental settings for the most realistic experience. Both position and orientation of the tools are tracked with sub-millimeter accuracy. The Leonardo system tracks six sensors precisely and simultaneously, providing the instant feedback of a well-schooled dental professional who doesn’t make mistakes.

By combining the power of innovative thinking, decades of experience in the medical field, and cutting-edge motion tracking technology, GEOTAR-Media is finding great success with their dental training simulator. It’s used by highly respected medical universities, and being integrated as part of a primary accreditation for dental students.

The Leonardo training simulator is changing the way dental students are educated and evaluated and shaping the future of dental education. Leonardo is two things at once—the easiest patient you’ve ever had, and a teacher that may surpass the skill of experts. (Cover photo courtesy of GEOTAR Media)