hapTELX-G: Impact of a Virtual Injection System in Dental Education

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paper



The aim of this research was to develop the original hapTEL dental simulator for dental cavity preparation to an injection system and evaluate its potential for use within the dental, medical, DCP and nursing higher education curricula.


The system was developed to haptically and visually simulate an intra-muscular injection system for deltoid injections. A 3-D haptically rendered image of the upper arm was developed which also allowed the students to learn the subsurface anatomy. An evaluation instrument (Concept-clinical skills measure (CCSM)) was developed based on the tutor-skills assessment used in the original hapTEL project (Eur J Dent Educ 2014 Feb 18:1, 58-64). The developed system was trialled and evaluated in two stages: Stage 1: expert clinical design and evaluation by dental, medical, dental care professionals and nursing tutors; Stage 2 trials and evaluation with four cohorts of dental, medical, dental care professionals and nursing students (n= approximately 100) using the CCSM.

Result: The first-phase of the results have produced a pedagogically sound virtual injection system which includes the ability to reveal veins, nerves, muscle, internal tissues and includes an aspiration facility which replicates blood withdrawal when a vessel is entered on the virtual arm. The individual student’s performance is recorded allowing self-evaluation and peer review. The students reported enhanced confidence and better procedural understanding after having used the system before giving an I.M injection for the first time on a real patient. This development has also increased the functionality of the device for a wider healthcare audience.


The results from these the two stages show that virtual haptic simulators can be used to enhance students learning resulting in better care for our patients. The device is being developed further for intra-oral injections to teach the 3-D anatomy and feel of the oral tissues whilst giving an inferior dental block.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIADR General Session and Exhibition 2014, At Cape Town, South Africa
Subtitle of host publicationJournal of Dental Research
Volume93 (Special Issue B)
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014


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