Abstract: A Virtual Reality Interface to an Intelligent Dental Care
Jens Herder, Karol Myszkowski, Tosiyasu L. Kunii, and Masumi Ibusuki. A
Virtual Reality Interface to an Intelligent Dental Care System, Medicine Meets Virtual Reality 4, International Conf., 17-20 January, 1996.
The design and fabrication of teeth restorations in dentistry rely increasingly on CAD/CAM techniques.
We present an approach for interactive design of the occlusal surface of teeth based on simulation of jaw
articulation and computer-aided diagnosis of occlusal disorders. To bridge the cognitive gap between the
dentist and the computer system, we propose a virtual reality user interface, which applies the metaphors of
tools and techniques known in dentistry. This makes the restoration design more intuitive for dentists. The
system uses Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) and HTML standards to generate a treatment
report and exchange data in an electronic form.
The simulation of jaw articulation requires fast calculation of multi-point contacts and detection of
collisions between surfaces of teeth and restorations. We have developed a distance maps technique
which exhibits realtime performance for objects with complex geometry and is suitable for other virtual
reality systems dealing with complex contacts. The characteristics of contacts between teeth acquired
during lower jaw motion are compactly represented as accumulated distance maps. These maps are then
used for automatic removal of interferences between the restorations and the opponent teeth, and provide
the dentist with information for further manual adjustments of the occlusal surfaces.