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The Effect of Variations in Force Feedback in a Virtual Reality Environment on the Performance and Satisfaction of Dental Students

de Boer, Ilse R., PhD; Lagerweij, Maxim D., PhD; Wesselink, Paul R., PhD; Vervoorn, Johanna M., PhD

doi: 10.1097/SIH.0000000000000370
Empirical Investigations: PDF Only

Introduction The aim of this study was to investigate the transfer of skills between various levels of force feedback (FFB) using the Simodont dental trainer (Moog, Nieuw-Vennep, the Netherlands). Students practiced a manual dexterity exercise in a virtual reality environment at a standard level of FFB and then were tested at the standard and an altered level of FFB. In addition, the students' satisfaction with the training exercise was evaluated.

Methods One hundred twenty-six first-year dental students were randomly distributed into four groups and underwent a manual dexterity test in the virtual reality environment with automatic assessment after a 3-month period of practicing with standard FFB. The test consisted of drilling with the standard FFB and an altered level of FFB to evaluate the effect on performance. After the test, the participants completed a questionnaire.

Results The results showed that 74% of the students who passed completed between one of three and three of three successful attempts at FFB levels at which they had not previously practiced.

Conclusions The results of this study imply that if students practice a sufficient amount of time at one level of FFB, a skill is transferable from one level of FFB to another.

From the Institute of Education (I.R.d.B., J.M.V.), and Department of Cardiology, Endodontology, and Pedodontology (M.D.L., P.R.W.), Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam (ACTA), University of Amsterdam; and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (I.R.d.B., J.M.V.), Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Reprints: Ilse R. de Boer, PhD, ACTA, Gustav Mahlerlaan 3004, 1081 LA Amsterdam, the Netherlands (e-mail:

This work should be attributed to the Institute of Education, Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam (ACTA), University of Amsterdam and Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

© 2019 Society for Simulation in Healthcare