Instructors and students in the Dental Assisting program at Holland College had the opportunity to participate in a unique research project recently in partnership with the Faculty of Sustainable Design Engineering at the University of Prince Edward Island.
The project aimed to create a realistic virtual environment for dentists to practice dental restorative techniques such as modeling curing protocols, restorative procedures, composite libraries, and a user interface to guide and assist the dentist.
The Dental Assisting students tried out two different training technologies. The first one was a patient simulator called Managing Accurate Resin Curing, which measured how precise the students were in applying curing techniques to different procedures. The second was a Microsoft Hololens-based training application developed by MSc student Eagan Boire, which provides immersive, interactive training for dental restoration curing techniques.
The data collected from these experiments will help advance immersive training in dentistry and contribute to future research in this area.
“The collaboration between UPEI – FSDE and Holland College was fundamental for this research. With the students' participation we were able not only to test our AR application. but to progress this research in the field of Dentistry. We are making the story as partners,” said Nadja Johnson Bressan, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the UPEI Faculty of Sustainable Design Engineering and lead investigator on this project.
Wanda McInnis, the Dental Assisting learning manager who oversaw the project, said the experience was a unique opportunity for the students.
“This applied research project gave our students the opportunity to participate and contribute to the advancement of training in dentistry. They were able to practise their skills and received valuable feedback from the training technologies.”
Holland College participates in over $2 million of applied research annually, with projects as diverse as food product development, bioscience, energy and environment, and now, dentistry.
Image of 3D model of dental curing light and training simulator used in the Microsoft Hololens-based dental restoration training module, courtesy of Eagan Boire, the MSc student developing the application.
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Sara Underwood, Media and Communications Officer
Date: July 20, 2023