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Simulation helps students learn dental implant procedures
Date:6/11/2009

AUGUSTA, Ga. A realistic computer game will soon be used to help dental students worldwide learn and reinforce dental implant procedures.

The Virtual Dental Implant Training Simulation Program is designed to help students in diagnostics, decision making and treatment protocols. It was designed by Medical College of Georgia School of Dentistry faculty and students and BreakAway, Ltd., a developer of game-based technology for training, experimentation and decision-making analysis.

"There's a lot of enthusiasm in the global dental and medical communities to use virtual reality and simulation as a tool to convey and reinforce information and ensure competency levels," says Dr. Roman Cibirka, MCG vice president for instruction and enrollment management and the program's project director. He presented the game and its 18-month development process today at the fifth annual Games for Health Conference in Boston.

Dental implants are tiny screws surgically placed in the jaw to act as artificial roots for prosthetic teeth. About 25 percent of adults 60 and older no longer have any natural teeth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the need for this procedure could increase with the country's aging population.

"The program was an opportunity to align the defined need to enhance the depth and penetration of implant therapy knowledge in undergraduate dental education with my vision of using gaming to reach the millennial student," Dr. Cibirka says.

His highest priorities were instructional effectiveness, patient safety and a fun learning environment for the students.

Research shows that health care providers who practice clinical skills via simulation have better patient outcomes than those who don't.

The implant simulation game uses multiple patients and clinical scenarios that can be randomly selected, letting students interact with virtual patients by asking about their med
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Contact: Paula Hinely
phinely@mcg.edu
706-721-3646
Medical College of Georgia
Source:Eurekalert  

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