Students’ evaluation of a 3DVR haptic device (Simodont®). Does early exposure to haptic feedback during preclinical dental education enhance the development of psychomotor skills?

Mahmoud Mahdy Bakr, Ward Massey, Heather Alexander


Background: Haptic simulators have been successfully used in medical education but are relatively new tools in dental education. Aims and Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate the effect of early exposure to haptic feedback (via the MOOG Simodont® Virtual Dental Trainer) on the development of psychomotor skills and on the subsequent performance of a previously unseen manual task. Materials and Methods: Forty second year Dental Science students enrolled at Griffith University (Australia) were randomly divided into two groups. They were then given manual dexterity tasks in a haptic and a non-haptic environment but in a different sequence for each group (early- or late-haptic experience). Pre-experimental, post experimental and flow questionnaires were completed by participants. The Mental Rotation Test –A (MRT-A) was used to control for differences in visual-spatial abilities. Borg’s CR-10 scale was used to control for possible differences in mental effort between haptic and non-haptic training sessions. Results:  Overall, the students accepted the new dental simulator well. Participants commented both positively and negatively on the fidelity of the preclinical experience. The group that ended with haptic training performed slightly (though not significantly) better than the group that commenced training with haptics (Paired t-test; P= 0.06). Conclusion: Our study showed that haptic simulators could be combined with other methods in preclinical dental skills development but there is no clear evidence in this study that early exposure per se to haptic feedback and the MOOG Simodont® Virtual Dental Trainer could better assist in the development of psychomotor skills in Restorative Dentistry.


Dental Education; 3DVR Haptic Device; Haptic Simulators; Psychomotor Skills


Buchanan JA. Use of simulation technology in dental education. Journal of Dental Education. 2001;65(11):1225-31.

Steinberg AD, Bashook PG, Drummond J, Ashrafi S, Zefran M. Assessment of faculty perception of content validity of Periosim©, a haptic-3D virtual reality dental training simulator. Journal of Dental Education. 2007;71(12):1574-82.

Luciano C, Banerjee P, DeFanti T. Haptics-based virtual reality periodontal training simulator. Virtual reality. 2009;13(2):69-85.

Helmreich RL. Managing human error in aviation. Scientific American. 1997;276(5):62-7.

Chaudhry A, Sutton C, Wood J, Stone R, McCloy R. Learning rate for laparoscopic surgical skills on MIST VR, a virtual reality simulator: quality of human-computer interface. Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. 1999;81(4):281-6.

Datta V, Mandalia M, Mackay S, Darzi A. Evaluation and validation of a virtual reality based flexible sigmoidoscopy trainer. Gut. 2001;48(Suppl 1):A97-A8.

Mehta A, Ost D, Salinas S, Sanchez D, DeRosiers A, Tasto J, et al. Objective assessment of bronchoscopy skills by a bronchoscopy training simulator. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2000;161(3):A234.

Henn JS, Lemole Jr GM, Ferreira MA, Gonzalez LF, Schornak M, Preul MC, et al. Interactive stereoscopic virtual reality: a new tool for neurosurgical education: Technical note. Journal of neurosurgery. 2002;96(1):144-9.

Immersion Medical Products Corporation. At: Accessed: April 30, 2013.

Barry Issenberg S, McGaghie WC, Petrusa ER, Lee Gordon D, Scalese RJ. Features and uses of high-fidelity medical simulations that lead to effective learning: a BEME systematic review. Medical teacher. 2005;27(1):10-28.

Tanzawa T, Futaki K, Kurabayashi H, Goto K, Yoshihama Y, Hasegawa T, et al. Medical emergency education using a robot patient in a dental setting. European Journal of Dental Education. 2013;17(1):e114-e9.

Harris W. How haptic technology works. downloaded Oct. 2008;24:6.

Bholat OS, Haluck RS, Kutz RH, Gorman PJ, Krummel TM. Defining the role of haptic feedback in minimally invasive surgery. Studies in health technology and informatics. 1999:62-6.

Basdogan C, De S, Kim J, Muniyandi M, Kim H, Srinivasan MA. Haptics in minimally invasive surgical simulation and training. Computer Graphics and Applications, IEEE. 2004;24(2):56-64.

Ström P, Hedman L, Särnå L, Kjellin A, Wredmark T, Felländer-Tsai L. Early exposure to haptic feedback enhances performance in surgical simulator training: a prospective randomized crossover study in surgical residents. Surgical endoscopy and other interventional techniques. 2006;20(9):1383-8.

Wang D, Zhang Y, Wang Y, Lu P, editors. Development of dental training system with haptic display. Robot and Human Interactive Communication, 2003 Proceedings ROMAN 2003 The 12th IEEE International Workshop on; 2003: IEEE.

Rhienmora P, Haddawy P, Dailey M, Khanal P, Suebnukarn S. Development of a dental skills training simulator using virtual reality and haptic device. NECTEC Technical Journal. 2008;8(20):140-7.

Kim L, Hwang Y, Park SH, Ha S. Dental training system using multi-modal interface. Computer-Aided Design and Applications. 2005;2(5):591-8.

Rhienmora P, Haddawy P, Khanal P, Suebnukarn S, Dailey MN. A virtual reality simulator for teaching and evaluating dental procedures. Methods of information in medicine. 2010;49(4):396.

Yau H, Tsou L, Tsai M. Octree-based virtual dental training system with a haptic device. Computer-Aided Design and Applications. 2006;3(1-4):415-24.

Kitagawa M, Dokko D, Okamura AM, Yuh DD. Effect of sensory substitution on suture-manipulation forces for robotic surgical systems. The Journal of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery. 2005;129(1):151-8.

Bakr MM, Massey W, Alexander H. Evaluation of Simodont® Haptic 3D virtual reality dental training simulator. International Journal of Dental Clinics. 2013;5(4):1-6.

Bakr M, Massey W, Alexander H, editors. Academic Evaluation of Simodont® Haptic 3D Virtual Reality Dental Training Simulator. Gold Coast Health and Medical Research Conference; 2012: Http://app. griffith. edu. au/events/view. php? eventID= 24018.

Louis TA, Lavori PW, Bailar 3rd J, Polansky M. Crossover and self-controlled designs in clinical research. The New England journal of medicine. 1984;310(1):24-31.

Vandenberg SG, Kuse AR. Mental rotations, a group test of three-dimensional spatial visualization. Perceptual and motor skills. 1978;47(2):599-604.

Peters M, Laeng B, Latham K, Jackson M, Zaiyouna R, Richardson C. A redrawn Vandenberg and Kuse mental rotations test-different versions and factors that affect performance. Brain and cognition. 1995;28(1):39-58.

Borg G. Borg’s perceived exertion and pain scales. Human Kinetics. Cotton RT(ed) ed. Champaign, IL: Human kinetics; 1998. p. 30-67.

Csikszentmihalyi M. Flow: The psychology of optimal experience. New York: Harper/Collins; 1991. p.1-49.

Gal GB, Weiss EI, Gafni N, Ziv A. Preliminary assessment of faculty and student perception of a haptic virtual reality simulator for training dental manual dexterity. Journal of dental education. 2011;75(4):496-504.

Full Text: PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Index Copernicus Index Copernicus Google Scholar NISCAIR OpenJGateDOAJUlrichsWeb
System Developed By Stanford University Arizona State University Simon Fraser University Canadian Centre For Studies In Publishing University of British Columbia - Faculty of Education
W3C XHTML v1.0 Verified W3C verified Valid CSS v2.1 PHP5 Enabled CopyScape Protected Made On Mac Apache Enabled MySQL Powered
Published by Celesta Software Pvt Ltd