Immersive Virtual Environment for Training of Dental Surgery


This Head-Mounted-Display (HMD) based dental simulator provides an immersive environment with haptic feedback for psychomotor skill training. Trainees are immersed in a complete dental surgery environment with realistic patients. The simulator covers the rubber dam application and access opening stages of the root canal treatment procedure.

The objective of this project is to explore the potential of the integration of techniques from Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence to increase the effectiveness of surgical training by providing personalized instruction, assessment, and formative feedback in a form and on a scale not possible in the physical world. Work is being carried out in the domain of dental surgery. The systems being built promise to provide dental students with an increased amount of guided practice at relatively low cost.

The following systems have been implemented:

  • An immersive virtual reality dental simulator that provides a 3D stereoscopic visualization of the entire dental operating room environment. Using two haptic devices the simulator allows a user to manipulate the dental instrument and the mirror and renders results graphically and haptically. Throughout the procedure, the simulator gathers kinematic data that describes how the procedure was carried out. Analytical routines identify errors in the outcome and their causes in the procedure. Formative feedback is delivered using a variety of modalities. One is a video replay of the procedure, highlighting the errors as they occur. Another is a haptic feedback to teach students the proper use of force.
  • An intelligent tutoring system for teaching decision making skills in dental surgery. This work has a particular focus on teaching situation awareness skills in decision making, which no other existing surgical simulator does.
  • An immersive VR simulator for teaching emergency management in dental surgery. This simulator uses low-cost readily available VR technology to maximize accessibility to students. In this way students can practice anytime and anywhere.

Numerous clinical studies demonstrating the effectiveness of these systems have been published.

  • Mahidol – Bremen Medical Informatics Research Unit, Faculty of Information and Communication Technology, Mahidol University
  • Faculty of Dentistry, Thammasat University
  • School of Science and Technology, Bangkok University
  • University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
Prof.Dr.Peter Haddawy
Prof.Dr.Siriwan Suebnukarn, Dr.Phattanapon Rhienmora, Dr.Myat Su Yin , Ms.Narumol Vannaprathip, Mr.Nat Sararit , Prof.Dr.Christian Freksa, Dr.Holger Schultheis, Prof.Dr.Gabriel Zachmann, Prof.Dr.Michael Beetz