Virtual teaching improves dental reality – UQ News

Virtual and augmented reality technologies are being used as an important teaching tool for dental students at the University of Queensland, who practice using 3D headsets before working with real-life clients.

Dr Sobia Zafar from UQ’s Digital Dental Team School of Dentistry said technology-enhanced learning has transformed the experience of more than 400 students over the past four years.

“Training dental students is a complex process as it requires a lot of fine motor skills, as well as hand-foot and eye coordination,” said Dr Zafar.

“Despite having simulation sessions to provide a smooth transition to clinics, 87 percent of students said they felt they needed more training before being placed in a real-world setting. life.

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“So we decided to embed both virtual and augmented reality technology into our classes to provide more, immersive training for students.

“Virtual reality allows students to practice in a safe environment, make mistakes they can correct, and improve their confidence before entering a clinic to treat real clients.”

When wearing a virtual reality headset, students interact with 3D holographic images that allow them to see through the skin to examine the human body, specifically areas relevant to their studies such as of head and neck anatomy.

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With augmented reality technology students wear a headset and built-in sensors simulate their movements as they navigate a virtual dental clinic and interact with a virtual patient.

Students can also practice the administration of local anesthesia through the software co-developed by Dr Zafar and Dr Jessica Zachar, something new in this area of ​​teaching.

Their dedication to student development has been recognized with a commendation in UQ’s 2022 Teaching and Learning Awards.

Dr. Zachar said the team’s goal is to provide stimulating learning environments so that students can become good health professionals.

“These digital teaching tools help students maximize their potential and expand their knowledge of dental trauma management, dental anatomy and local anesthesia management,” said Dr Zachar.

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“We want to position students to become leaders within the profession and local community, who will provide the best health care.

“It’s a great feeling that you were recognized for our work at the Teaching and Learning Awards this year.

“We hope this will encourage other health professions to consider digital innovative learning because this style of teaching is not limited to just the dentist.”

Media: UQ Communications, Bridget Druery, [email protected]+61 (0)435 221 246.

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