teethThe University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry set out to develop cutting edge dental training simulations using haptics. Haptics is the science of applying touch sensation and control to interaction. These dental simulations would provide a new platform for training. The dental school needed anatomically accurate tooth and gum models that would reflect natural imperfections and irregulatirites when used in the virtual dental simulator.

Working with UIC’s leading dental educator, Dr. Arnold Steinberg, Illumen’s team planned to map out all key anatomical imperfections, build the 3D models, then test them for accuracy within the virtual dental simulator.

Version 2 of the simulator utilizes more anatomically accurate 3D models of a 4-tooth mouth segment (lower right second bi-cuspid through lower right third molar) containing gingiva, bone and teeth depicted in Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML). Anatomically accurate 3D model depictions of several different stages of peridontal destruction and caries are shown. The trainee has unlimited practice time to familiarize her / himself with the visual as well as the tactile aspects of both periodontal disease and very early dental caries. The fact that the anatomical models have been developed in the VRML format makes them easy to reuse in other applications and share over the Internet. This format also allows for easy modifications of the model in the future. Read the full Article

[Digital_Dental.News. PerioSim: Haptics-based virtual reality dental simulator. November 2008.]