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Virtual Reality simulator for dental anesthesia training in the inferior alveolar nerve block

Cléber Gimenez CORRÊA, Maria Aparecida de Andrade Moreira MACHADO, Edith RANZINI, Romero TORI, Fátima de Lourdes Santos NUNES


Objectives This study shows the development and validation of a dental anesthesia-training simulator, specifically for the inferior alveolar nerve block (IANB). The system developed provides the tactile sensation of inserting a real needle in a human patient, using Virtual Reality (VR) techniques and a haptic device that can provide a perceived force feedback in the needle insertion task during the anesthesia procedure. Material and Methods To simulate a realistic anesthesia procedure, a Carpule syringe was coupled to a haptic device. The Volere method was used to elicit requirements from users in the Dentistry area; Repeated Measures Two-Way ANOVA (Analysis of Variance), Tukey post-hoc test and averages for the results’ analysis. A questionnaire-based subjective evaluation method was applied to collect information about the simulator, and 26 people participated in the experiments (12 beginners, 12 at intermediate level, and 2 experts). The questionnaire included profile, preferences (number of viewpoints, texture of the objects, and haptic device handler), as well as visual (appearance, scale, and position of objects) and haptic aspects (motion space, tactile sensation, and motion reproduction). Results The visual aspect was considered appropriate and the haptic feedback must be improved, which the users can do by calibrating the virtual tissues’ resistance. The evaluation of visual aspects was influenced by the participants’ experience, according to ANOVA test (F=15.6, p=0.0002, with p<0.01). The user preferences were the simulator with two viewpoints, objects with texture based on images and the device with a syringe coupled to it. Conclusion The simulation was considered thoroughly satisfactory for the anesthesia training, considering the needle insertion task, which includes the correct insertion point and depth, as well as the perception of tissues resistances during the insertion.


Dental anesthesia; Mandibular nerve; Simulation training; User-computer interface

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1678-7757-2016-0386

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