A Shared Haptic Virtual Environment for Dental Surgical Skill Training

Journal /Conference

IEEE International Conference on Virtual Reality (IEEE VR)


Maximilian Kaluschke (1), Myat Su Yin (2), Peter Haddawy (2 3), Natchalee Srimaneekarn (4), Pipop Saikaew (5), Gabriel Zachmann (1)


  1. Faculty of Mathematics/Computer Science, University of Bremen, Germany
  2. Faculty of ICT, Mahidol University, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand
  3. Bremen Spatial Cognition Center, University of Bremen, Germany
  4. Department of Anatomy (Dentistry), Mahidol University
  5. Department of Operative Dentistry and Endodontics, Mahidol University


Online learning has become an effective approach to reach students who may not be able to travel to university campuses for various reasons. Its use has also dramatically increased during the current COVID-19 pandemic with social distancing and lockdown requirements. But online education has thus far been primarily limited to teaching of knowledge and cognitive skills. There is yet almost no use of online education for teaching of physical clinical skills.In this paper, we present a shared haptic virtual environment for dental surgical skill training. The system provides the teacher and student with a shared environment containing a virtual dental station with patient, a dental drill controlled by a haptic device, and a drillable tooth. It also provides automated scoring of procedure outcomes. We discuss a number of optimizations used in order to provide the high-fidelity simulation and real-time performance needed for training of high-precision clinical skills. Since tactile, in particular kinaesthetic, sense is essential in carrying out many dental procedures, an important question is how to best teach this in a virtual environment. In order to support exploring this, our system includes three modes for transmitting haptic sensations from the user performing the procedure to the user observing.

DOI / Link

  • 10.1109/VRW52623.2021.00069