A patient-specific haptic drilling simulator based on virtual reality for dental implant surgery

  • Xiaojun ChenEmail author
  • Pengjie Sun
  • Denghong Liao
Original Article



In the dental implant surgery, there are inevitable risks due to the anatomically complex operation in the cranio-maxillofacial region. Therefore, there is a trend to use computer-aided technology to simulate the process of the implant surgery. In this study, we present a haptic simulator for trainees to study and rehearse the drilling performance of dental implant surgery.

Materials and methods

The dental implant surgery simulator (DISS) is developed based on the haptic force-feedback device Omega.6, and some free open-source software libraries such as Computer Haptics and Active Interface (CHAI3D), Qt and Visualization Toolkit. To achieve the desired effects of drilling, the meshes are subdivided with a recursive algorithm which breaks down a triangular patch into 4 sub-triangles. The drilling operation can be implemented at any specified location of the model. Once the drilling direction is determined, the position and rotation of the haptic device tool are constrained to the orientation through a dimension reduction algorithm. The driller diameter and drill speed are tunable to implement stepwise drilling for the patient-specific models.


A patient-specific drilling simulator based on virtual reality for dental implant surgery is presented. The simulation of stepwise drilling was conducted, and three patient-specific models reconstructed by Computed Tomography data were employed to help the novices to find the suitable drilling parameter.


The obtained results showed that the haptic-based DISS could simulate various dental implant surgeries with different driller diameter and drill speed which takes patient-specific models as input. The evaluation of the DISS proves its good performance and it could provide an effective method to improve the skills and experiences of trainees.


Haptic Patient-specific Drilling Simulation Dental implant surgery 



This study was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFB1302903; 2017YFB1104100), Foundation of Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality (15510722200; 16441908400; 18511108200), and Shanghai Jiao Tong University Foundation on Medical and Technological Joint Science Research (YG2016ZD01; YG2015MS26).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© CARS 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Mechanical EngineeringShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina

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