Evaluation of a navigation system for dental implantation as a tool to train novice dental practitioners

Nardy Casap, Sahar Nadel, Eyal Tarazi, Ervin I. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This study evaluated the benefits of a virtual reality navigation system for teaching the surgical stage of dental implantation to final-year dental students. The study aimed to assess the students' performance in dental implantation assignments by comparing freehand protocols with virtual reality navigation. Materials and Methods: Forty final-year dentistry students without previous experience in dental implantation surgery were given an implantation assignment comprising 3 tasks. Marking, drilling, and widening of implant holes were executed by a freehand protocol on the 2 mandibular sides by 1 group and by virtual reality navigation on 1 side and contralaterally with the freehand protocol by the other group. Subjective and objective assessments of the students' performance were graded. Results: Marking with the navigation system was more accurate than with the standard protocol. The 2 groups performed similarly in the 2-mm drilling on the 2 mandibular sides. Widening of the 2 mesial holes to 3 mm was significantly better with the second execution in the standard protocol group, but not in the navigation group. The navigation group's second-site freehand drilling of the molar was significantly worse than the first. The execution of all assignments was significantly faster in the freehand group than in the navigation group (60.75 vs 77.25 minutes, P =.02). Self-assessment only partly matched the objective measurements and was more realistic in the standard protocol group. Conclusions: Despite the improved performance with the navigation system, the added value of training in dental implantation surgery with virtual reality navigation was minimal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2548-2556
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes


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