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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 666-667
Virtual reality (VR) applications in dentistry: An innovative technology to embrace

1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, India
2 School of Engineering Science and Technology, Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi, India

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Date of Submission17-Jun-2019
Date of Decision12-Sep-2019
Date of Acceptance29-Oct-2019
Date of Web Publication16-Oct-2020

How to cite this article:
Haleem A, Javaid M, Khan IH. Virtual reality (VR) applications in dentistry: An innovative technology to embrace. Indian J Dent Res 2020;31:666-7

How to cite this URL:
Haleem A, Javaid M, Khan IH. Virtual reality (VR) applications in dentistry: An innovative technology to embrace. Indian J Dent Res [serial online] 2020 [cited 2023 Oct 3];31:666-7. Available from:

Dear Editor,

Different digital imaging technologies are becoming common in the field of dentistry. Virtual Reality (VR) is an essential technology which can be used gainfully in dentistry to cater to challenges innovatively. It creates a simulated environment with the use of computer technology. In dentistry, this technology is applied to train new dentists to keep their skill up to date. VR uses smart glasses to provide visual instruction to the dentist to perform the required task. It displays a three-dimensional (3D) model of teeth/whole human head. Trainee dentist can learn and practice different dental techniques. This technology is helpful to identify new disease without any hurt to the patient.[1]

VR refers to a nonconventional computer graphics system having a virtual sense of reality or surrounding in which display technologies are developed in such a way that human mind perceives it as an absolute reality depending on the methods used which bring human to some other place. VR uses computer-generated simulation of a 3D environment in which humans can interact with the help of specially designed electrical instruments such as gloves, helmet, treadmills, hand/body trackers, and external sensors. It is an immersive and multisensory participative synthetic environment in which the user acts as an external observer which can improve the quality of life in an uncomfortable and hazardous situation and even in medical fields.[2]

This 3D imaging technique enables us to learn the anatomy of mouth and teeth. It first familiarizes the doctor with the patient's teeth anatomy before implantation in the mouth. Thus, it seems a proper technique as used for the teaching and learning of dental professionals and students. Traditionally, new dentist can feel pressure during the drill. Now using VR technology, the dentist can gain much experience and feel free while performing the actual procedure. This technology can be gainfully used to suggest a treatment plan on the computer screen. There is better communication between the dentist and the patients, which improves patient satisfaction and treatment.[3] VR allows a doctor to operate patients from rural areas and at different locations. This technology creates a highly realistic simulation for the dental patient. It opens up new avenues for therapies of new patients. It is helpful in research and development purpose, which is helpful to perform new procedures.[4]

VR helps dental patient with the alignment of human teeth and helps treat cavities and other issues. It creates a highly detailed virtual model of the human body, which can further be used for better treatment and surgery. The student can zoom through the patient mouth using VR. This technology is more flexible for learning rather than two-dimensional images. It has a high clinical impact on dentistry to see tooth anatomy of human.[5] It allows students to rotate the tooth image, which visualizes the underlying structure. Dental students and teachers can gain accurate knowledge and examine the learning process through VR. With the help of this technology, patient-customized teeth are captured and sent to the manufacturer for replacement.[6]

VR enables 3D models for training to learn about the mouth and teeth anatomy of the patient. It provides the ideas about drilling in a tooth using a virtual drill. Atzori et al. applied VR for five pediatric dental patients between 13 and 20 years of age using this technology. After 1 week of controlled treatment, it gave satisfactory results. It significantly lowers the pain without any side effects. Therefore, the dentist preferred this technology for pediatric patients.[7] Roy et al. used VR as the best education tool when compared with another traditional method. It continually provides different benefits such as improving skill, coordination, and training. By adopting this technology, there is a better experience and it proves to be an essential part of modern education.[8] Huang et al. state that VR technology will become an important tool in future dentistry. Thus, it has extensive application in education, clinical treatment, and development. It creates a safe environment to reduce the risk during surgery.[9]

VR helps enhance the clinical practice process and dentistry education. Thus, it seems to have extensive application for planning, training, therapeutic treatments, and pain management in dentistry. This technology provides an innovative path for research and development in dentistry. It provides an accurate projection of a radiographic image in a virtual environment like a real-world situation. The main limitation is the cost and people do not seem much aware of this technology.[10]

This technology enhances a dentist experience during actual surgery because this technology already does the practice. It remarkably provides a positive experience to the patient.[11] This amazing technology provides unlimited opportunities in dentistry for better treatment. It has an excellent capability to connect personalized service to the individual patient. The dentist checks vital signs for complex cases and provides convenience during surgery. It provides a visual representation of implants, bridge, crown, and orthodontics. It can take a visual scan of the patient mouth to improve the patient experience. In upcoming days, VR will help monitor patient information to increase comfort.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Perry S, Bridges SM, Zhu F, Leung WK, Burrow MF, Poolton J, et al. Getting to the root of fine motor skill performance in dentistry: Brain activity during dental tasks in a virtual reality haptic simulation. J Med Internet Res 2017;19:e371.  Back to cited text no. 1
Stavroulia KE, Christofi M, Baka E, Michael-Grigoriou D, Magnenat-Thalmann N, Lanitis A. Assessing the emotional impact of virtual reality-based teacher training. Int J Info Learn Tech 2019;36:192-217.  Back to cited text no. 2
Haleem A, Javaid M. Industry 4.0 and its applications in dentistry. Indian J Dent Res 2019. doi: 10.4103/ijdr.IJDR_904_18. [In press].  Back to cited text no. 3
Ford CG, Manegold EM, Randall CL, Aballay AM, Duncan CL. Assessing the feasibility of implementing low-cost virtual reality therapy during routine burn care. Burns 2018;44:886-95.  Back to cited text no. 4
Papadopoulos L, Pentzou AE, Louloudiadis K, Tsiatsos TK. Design and evaluation of a simulation for pediatric dentistry in virtual worlds. J Med Internet Res 2013;15:e240.  Back to cited text no. 5
Raghav K, Van Wijk AJ, Abdullah F, Islam MN, Bernatchez M, De Jongh A. Efficacy of virtual reality exposure therapy for treatment of dental phobia: A randomised control trial. BMC Oral Health 2016;16:25.  Back to cited text no. 6
Adamovich SV, August K, Merians A, Tunik E. A virtual reality-based system integrated with fMRI to study neural mechanisms of action observation-execution: A proof of concept study. Restor Neurol Neurosci 2009;27:209-23.  Back to cited text no. 7
Roy E, Bakr MM, George R. The need for virtual reality simulators in dental education: A review. Saudi Dent J 2017;29:41-7.  Back to cited text no. 8
Huang TK, Yang CH, Hsieh YH, Wang JC, Hung CC. Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) applied in dentistry. Kaohsiung J Med Sci 2018;34:243-8.  Back to cited text no. 9
Haleem A, Javaid M, Vaishya R, Khan IH. Virtual reality applications in orthopaedics. J Orthop Allied Sci 2019. doi: 10.4103/joas.joas_37_19. [In press].  Back to cited text no. 10
Atzori B, Lauro Grotto R, Giugni A, Calabrò M, Alhalabi W, Hoffman HG. Virtual reality analgesia for pediatric dental patients. Front Psychol 2018;9:2265.  Back to cited text no. 11

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mohd. Javaid
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijdr.IJDR_501_19

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