Journal of Dental Education, vol.74, no.8, pp.880-891, 2010 (SCI-Expanded)
The use of haptic devices in the medical field has become widespread in the last decade. In this study, a visio-haptic dental training system is developed using haptic and stereoscopic devices. Several advantages are offered by such a simulation system, including effective learning without any fear of making mistakes on a patient, possibility of repeating various dental operations, ease of evaluating student performance, and low-cost dental training even without an instructor. In this study, the biomechanical properties of enamel, dentin, pulp, and caries were modeled, and the parameters were fine-tuned to provide more realistic haptic sensations. Maxillary and mandibular dental arches and various dental instruments such as mouth mirror, probe, and dental drills were modeled in a 3D virtual environment. Probing and cavity preparation on teeth were implemented in the training system. Various graphical rendering methods (Surface Rendering in CPU, Iso-Surface Rendering, and Ray-Casting in GPU) were implemented and compared in performance. The implementation details and the software structure used are described. Finally, detailed performance tests by a group of dentists are conducted, and the results of these tests are presented. The performance tests found that dentists have a strong motivation to use the system and that in the aspects of usability, clarity, effectiveness, help/support provided, and satisfaction, the users' responses were above average.