Staff profiles

Project lead
Professor Paul Ichim
Position
Professor
School/area
Dentistry
Faculty
Health and Medical Sciences
Team members
Professor Thomas Braunl

Project outline

This project aims to apply Augmented Reality glasses (head-up displays) to improve Dentistry students’ learning rate of manual skills required for precise clinical work. Using this technology will further enhance the significant modernisation taking place at the UWA School of Dentistry and will contribute towards achieving its vision to become a recognised contemporary, progressive, innovative and vibrant centre of excellence in dentistry.

Learning the correct hand-eye-coordination is a long and tedious task for dental students. The most difficult aspect to master is maintaining the correct angulation of the dental bur, with “ideal" requirements in the range of 6°-10° from the vertical axis of the tooth. At present this is done only by visual estimation which is notoriously imprecise. With a head-mounted display and appropriate sensor-hardware and software, students could get immediate feedback on the orientation of the bur and correct it accordingly in real-time. Therefore a correct angulation of the bur is maintained throughout learning of the manual skills and consequently this facilitated and speeds up correct learning of the manual skills.

This project also aims at generating a link from the student to the supervisor by transmitting sensor to a central server during a procedure thus allowing permanent monitoring of student’s performance for analysis  and assessment. It is estimated that, when this system is fully embedded in teaching it will reduce time required to acquire the fundamental manual skills by 30% thus creating a more efficient teaching framework. Also, by enabling real-time self-feed-back to the students we further estimate that a reduction of 25% in supervision costs can be achieved while obtaining superior learning experience.

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