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Dr. Edwards' Blog

Dental Schools Are Going High Tech - Nov. 15, 2011

Dental students are getting some new high-tech tools to let them treat "virtual" and "simulated" patients before they start treating human ones.

Some dentists-in-training are experiencing Simroid.  She's a robot featuring air-powered muscles, pretty brown eyes, silicone skin with a peaches-and-cream complexion and wispy black hair.  Among Simroid's many human features, she has a gag reflex and sensitive teeth.  When her oral health caregiver causes her pain, she reacts in the same way a patient might, with a flinch and the words, "That hurts!" She can also follow instructions and monitor her dentist’s performance. Check out Simroid here!


Another high-tech gadget is an implant simulation game that introduces students to patients with various clinical situations.  The game allows students to examine and ask the virtual patient about medical history.  Because each case is different, dental students must consider the virtual patient’s personality and clinical condition for optimal diagnosis and treatment planning.  For qualified implant patients, student dentists must determine the proper type of implant, location for the implant, anesthesia, and tools to use.

Soon, 25 universities, and potentially 15,000 dental students will use the instructional video game, primarily for third and fourth-year students.

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