Comput Biol Med 2019 May 15;108:93-100. Epub 2019 Mar 15.
Department of Reconstructive Dentistry, University Center for Dental Medicine Basel, University of Basel, Switzerland, Hebelstr. 3, CH-4056, Basel, Switzerland.
Background: The aim of this systematic review was to provide an update on the contemporary knowledge and scientific development of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) in dental medicine, and to identify future research needs to accomplish its clinical translation.
Method: A modified PICO-strategy was performed using an electronic (MEDLINE, EMBASE, CENTRAL) plus manual search up to 12/2018 exploring AR/VR in dentistry in the last 5 years. Inclusion criteria were limited to human studies focusing on the clinical application of AR/VR and associated field of interest in dental medicine.
Results: The systematic search identified 315 titles, whereas 87 abstracts and successively 32 full-texts were selected for review, resulting in 16 studies for final inclusion. AR/VR-technologies were predominantly used for educational motor skill training (n = 9 studies), clinical testing of maxillofacial surgical protocols (n = 5), investigation of human anatomy (n = 1), and the treatment of patients with dental phobia (n = 1). Due to the heterogeneity of the included studies, meta-analyses could not be performed.
Conclusions: The overall number of includable studies was low; and scientifically proven recommendations for clinical protocols could not be given at this time. However, AR/VR-applications are of increasing interest and importance in dental under- and postgraduate education offering interactive learning concepts with 24/7-access and objective evaluation. In maxillofacial surgery, AR/VR-technology is a promising tool for complex procedures and can help to deliver predictable and safe therapy outcomes. Future research should focus on establishing technological standards with high data quality and developing approved applications for dental AR/VR-devices for clinical routine.