alexa An Overview of Virtual and Augmented Reality in Dental Education
ISSN: 2247-2452

Oral Health and Dental Management
Open Access

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Research Article

An Overview of Virtual and Augmented Reality in Dental Education

 
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Abstract

Introduction: Clinical dentistry is a complex area for education. This is because the development of clinical competence requires the assimilation of knowledge combined with the acquisition of clinical skills and problem-solving ability. In recent years, a variety of computer-based modalities—including intelligent tutoring systems, medical simulation, and virtual reality techniques and the development of Web 2.0 collaborative authoring and social networking tools—has become available. Aims: The aims of this paper are to provide an overview of the use of one of these modalities—virtual and augmented reality systems—in dental education and to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these systems. Methods: A literature review was performed, using the search terms “virtual reality” and “dental education”. Secondary literature searching was then performed. Results: The review suggested that the use of virtual and augmented reality technologies offers the advantages of the reinforcement of theoretical dental knowledge, correct use of dental instruments, ergonomic positioning, students’ self-evaluation, faster acquisition of skills and positive student perception. In general, any disadvantages arise because most of the dental simulators that use virtual and augmented reality are in an early/experimental stage. Conclusions: It can be concluded that virtual and augmented reality systems will play an increasing role in dental education. These technologies are likely to change clinical training and encourage the use of reflective forms of assessment, which involve students in a self-assessment process to identify individual learning needs and self-directed learning. These innovations promise not only lower costs of the educational process, but also an increase in quality by providing a new set of pedagogical tools for dental schools.

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