We have developed a virtual reality (VR) and an augmented reality (AR) dental training simulator utilizing a haptic device. The simulators utilize volumetric force feedback computation and real time modification of the volumetric data. They include a virtual mirror to facilitate indirect vision during a simulated operation. The AR environment allows students to practice surgery in correct postures by combining the 3D tooth and tool models with the real-world view and displaying the result through a video see-through head-mounted display (HMD). Preliminary results from an initial evaluation show that the system is a promising tool to supplement dental training and that there are advantages of the AR over the VR approach.
Introduction: Haptic virtual reality (VR) has revolutionized the skill acquisition in dentistry. The strength of the haptic VR system is that it can automatically record the outcome and associated kinematic data on how each step of the task is performed, which are not available in the conventional skill training environments. The aim of this study was to assess skill acquisition in endodontics and to identify process and outcome variables for the quantification of proficiency.