Immersive 3D Educational Contents: A Technical Note for Dental Educators

Healthcare (Basel). 2021 Feb 7;9(2):178. doi: 10.3390/healthcare9020178.


Three-dimensional files featuring patients' geometry can be obtained through common tools in dental practice, such as an intraoral scanner (IOS) or Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT). The use of 3D files in medical education is promoted, but only few methodologies were reported due to the lack of ease to use and accessible protocols for educators. The aim of this work was to present innovative and accessible methodologies to create 3D files in dental education. The first step requires the definition of the educational outcomes and the situations of interest. The second step relies on the use of IOS and CBCT to digitize the content. The last "post-treatment" steps involve free software for analysis of quality, re-meshing and simplifying the file in accordance with the desired educational activity. Several examples of educational activities using 3D files are illustrated in dental education and discussed. Three-dimensional files open up many accessible applications for a dental educator, but further investigations are required to develop collaborative tools and prevent educational inequalities between establishments.

Keywords: 3D files; clinical teaching; digital training; healthcare education; innovation in teaching.