Preliminary assessment of faculty and student perception of a haptic virtual reality simulator for training dental manual dexterity

Gilad Ben Gal, Ervin I. Weiss, Naomi Gafni, Amitai Ziv

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Virtual reality force feedback simulators provide a haptic (sense of touch) feedback through the device being held by the user. The simulator's goal is to provide a learning experience resembling reality. A newly developed haptic simulator (IDEA Dental, Las Vegas, N V, USA) was assessed in this study. Our objectives were to assess the simulator's ability to serve as a tool for dental instruction, self-practice, and student evaluation, as well as to evaluate the sensation it provides. A total of thirty-three evaluators were divided into two groups. The first group consisted of twenty-one experienced dental educators; the second consisted of twelve fifth-year dental students. Each participant performed drilling tasks using the simulator and filled out a questionnaire regarding the simulator and potential ways of using it in dental education. The results show that experienced dental faculty members as well as advanced dental students found that the simulator could provide significant potential benefits in the teaching and self-learning of manual dental skills. Development of the simulator's tactile sensation is needed to attune it to genuine sensation. Further studies relating to aspects of the simulator's structure and its predictive validity, its scoring system, and the nature of the performed tasks should be conducted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)496-504
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Dental Education
Volume75
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Computer simulation
  • Computer-assisted instruction
  • Dental education
  • Educational technology
  • Manual dexterity training
  • Psychomotor skills
  • Virtual reality simulator

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