Science + Tech

Where Sci-Fi meets reality: How augmented reality is reforming dental training

From the automotive industry using augmented reality to provide information of road conditions to the gaming industry allowing gamers to capture Pokémon, augmented reality is impacting nearly every industry. Dentistry is no exception.

AR uses interactive digital elements and sensory projections to combine the virtual and real world. By superimposing digital information over the physical environment, AR is transforming how we view the world. According to market analysis of AR in health care conducted by Reports and Data in May 2019, the market is projected to reach $7.05 billion by 2026.

AR is revolutionizing the dental field, through virtual mockups, facial analytics and 3-D virtual planning. This immersive technology offers numerous possibilities within surgery. An April 2017 Smithsonian article reports that at the University of Maryland’s AR research lab called Augmentarium, a team of doctors and engineers are constructing an AR headset that can holographically display a hovering pop-up screen with a patient’s vital signs. Imagine extracting wisdom teeth and being able to see the patient’s respiratory rate and blood pressure.

The implementation of AR helps the diagnosis and treatment process while modernizing dental training.

Finish reading the article in the May issue of Contour.

Alisha Nanji

Alisha Nanji is in the class of 2023 at Harvard School of Dental Medicine.

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