0510 Techniques for Administering Local Anesthesia Utilizing Mixed-Reality Technology
K.M. HANSON1, N. JONES2, M. KRANTZ2, and H. LAW2, 1Weber State University, Utah State University, Ogden, UT, USA, 2Weber State University, Ogden, UT, USA

Objectives: Our research objective is to investigate the potential of learning the techniques for administering local anesthesia utilizing mixed-reality technology. The traditional method of instruction and assessment for administering local anesthesia is with the use of human subjects for repetitive practice. With the advancements in technologies, specifically mixed-reality, an alternative to the use of human subjects as practice is possible and holds many advantages over traditional forms of instruction.

Methods: Researchers met this summer 2005 to develop and investigate the technology needed to implement study fall 2005. Thirty senior dental hygiene students will be recruited from a course on local anesthesia. These students will learn techniques for the administration of two cranial block injections. Students will participate in a designed dental instructional exercise using a mixed-reality interface that will allow them to manipulate 3D images rendered in virtual space. The virtual 3D objects will be superimposed over the environment of a dental chair and patient. The students will be digitally recorded and observed for analysis by expert clinicians and researchers using a designed rubric. In addition, students will be given a pre- and post-treatment test as well as complete a post-treatment questionnaire.

Results: It is expected that students will demonstrate they can learn the skill to administer anesthesia using an interface that allows for the manipulation of 3D objects in virtual space. This iterative cycle of multiple sensory explorations will enable students to learn anatomical spatial and dimensional relationships and develop greater understanding of anatomical structures related to administrative techniques.

Conclusions: If students have an opportunity to apply didactic knowledge related to the administration of local anesthesia, they would be able to synthesize these concepts in an environment where they will not cause harm or injury to a live patient on practice.

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