Bridging Clinical Skills Training and Oral/Facial Anatomy with Computer-Aided
3D Visualization to Enhance Operative Skills Competency

A/Prof Foong Weng Chiong, Kelvin

What Used to Be

The successful delivery of a local anaesthetic (LA) inferior alveolar nerve (IAN) injection is a skill every dental student must perform competently. The training for this skill is conducted through lectures, demonstrations, and direct practice of the LA procedure between students before students are permitted to deliver the LA injection on actual patients.

Problems We Identified

  1. Anatomy of the oral/facial regions is taught from the outer facial to the deeper oral tissues. However, a student attempting to deliver the IAN injection in the mouth must visualize anatomy from within the mouth towards the external layers. So, the order of anatomy is reversed.
  2. There is no intermediary training platform between a physical demonstration of the LA procedure on a skull model and the actual performance of the LA procedure in humans.

What We Did

We developed

  1. a stereoscopic LA delivery model using the iBench, and
  2. a realistic 3D printed physical model of the facial/oral anatomy.
The stereoscopic and 3D printed models have sensors which indicate if the LA procedure is successful.

How This Helped

It gives students an accurate perception and feel of the surrounding anatomy to accurately deliver the IAN block. Students can practice the IAN procedure repeatedly without posing any risk to real patients.