Logo Deutscher Zahnärztetag Prof. Dr. Peter Berthold, DDS, PhD, DMD, FICD (Minneapolis)

Prof. Dr. Peter Berthold, DDS, PhD, DMD, FICD (Minneapolis)

DentSim V4 – An Educator's View on Advanced Simulation in the Dental Learning Environment

A manikin unit for dental education that included virtual reality based technology (VRBT) became available in the United States in 1998. This unit, DentSim, was able to track, through the use of infrared light emitting diodes and infrared cameras, movements of a student preparing a plastic tooth in the manikin. The unit can then build a virtual image of the preparation, which allows the unit to evaluate the preparation in relationship to an optimal preparation, give visual feedback to the student, and assign a grade. Over the next 10-12 years the technology progressed. Several dental schools in the United States and internationally use the technology and have incorporated it into their curricula. The value and potential of the technology to be a more efficient and effective learning tool than traditional pre-clinical methods was researched, discussed, and published in articles and abstracts across the globe. It was shown through this research that students need less time to learn restorative procedures with VRBT to reach the same level of competency than with traditional methods. Ergonomics and confidence with a hand piece were also shown to improve. Students increased their psychomotor skills and learned restorative procedures with only one-fifth of the faculty resource compared to traditional pre-clinical education. This technology has an increased potential to make a major impact on pre-clinical dental education. The technology should be fully incorporate into the curriculum so that it is an integral part of the education. In this short presentation, steps in the technology will be discussed. Critical steps needed for a successful implementation of the technology in dental education will also be reviewed.

Acknowledgement: We recognize Interim Dean Judith Buchanan’s critical work in dental simulation and thank her for her never-ending efforts and enthusiasm to bring simulation to the forefront of dental education.
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