Games technology to help in future dental training

March 24, 2009
Games technology to help in future dental training

(PhysOrg.com) -- Dentists of the future could be using games technology to hone their clinical skills.

Three final year at the University of Glasgow have developed the concept of using technology to help dental students try out their operative skills.

The students are winners of The Dental Innovation Technology Ideas Award announced today. The competition challenged final year students to develop an idea for a new piece of technology or innovation in the dental field.

The winning idea would utilise the Nintendo Wii console using special software to simulate operative techniques. The wireless controllers would be used by the dental students to control the handling of instruments on a “ “on the screen. The controller could also be used to provide to the user.

“Stimulation of clinical procedures is normally carried out in the operative techniques lab. However, dental students sometimes have limited opportunity to practice their techniques outside of the lab,” said Dr David Watson of the University of Glasgow Dental School.

“The use of Wii technology could be a really innovative and cost-effective solution which students could use to improve their manual dexterity. There is considerable research to back up the concept of using video games to improve dentist’s coordination and the Wii based application would complement the simulation technology already used in dental schools worldwide.”

The students - Pearse Hannigan, David Lagan, Adam Gray - were presented with a cheque for £300 and a glass obelisk.

Craig said: “We received over 40 entries for the competition all of which were of an extremely high standard. The judging panel were impressed by the depth of research and hard work which had gone into the submissions which made it very difficult to choose an outright winner. However we were struck by the inventiveness of adapting an existing piece of technology in a very novel way.”

He added: “We are absolutely delighted that Glasgow Dental School has given us the opportunity to host this annual award. As more dental practices become reliant on digital systems, it is vital that students are up to speed with the latest technologies. We hope the award will inspire them to think about how technology can be applied in practice for greater efficiency and better patient care.”

Provided by University of Glasgow

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