Virtual Reality Dentistry Awards Dental Chair System

2011 December 11
by Asha Sood

King’s College London has placed dentistry in the spotlight as its highly regarded Dental Institute, which is renowned for its cutting edge innovation and research, scooped three accolades at the recent Medical Futures Innovation Awards.

One of the awards, Best Education Innovation, was bestowed for developing a virtual reality dental chair system which is aimed at helping teach our new generation of trainee dentists. The system utilises a sense of touch dental drill, foot pedal, mirror and screen allowing the trainee dentist to simulate real life dental procedures by operating on virtual 3D teeth.

Research team leader, Professor Margaret Cox said the system had been evaluated over a two year period with over 320 undergraduates and 30 postgraduates. During this time, it had demonstrated great potential in enhancing clinical skills and assessment, thereby lending itself to a considerable global impact on the dental profession and the patients who may go on to benefit from dental treatment.

Professor Cox was also awarded with an additional accolade, the Special Award for  Best Educational Innovation. This award recognises an individual or team that has demonstrated a novel and outstanding initiative that has made a positive impact in healthcare learning amongst students at any level.

The technical and educational expertise and knowledge of the team behind the ‘Virtual Reality Dental Chair’ will benefit further research in medical sense-touch applications and may pave the way for future development of systems to provide therapy for stroke victims and educational aids for children with learning difficulties.

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