As dental educators teaching the next generation of oral health professionals, there is a responsibility to deliver curriculum that is both relevant and engaging to the way students best learn today. Current methods of delivery such as PowerPoint slides and videos do not encourage active learning or engagement. There is a need for innovative methods to reach the curiosity of the providers of tomorrow and inspire critical thinking skills. Augmented reality has gained popularity over the recent year namely in the form of video games. Placing augmented elements in a live direct physical view of a real-world environment provides an immersive experience that can potentially bring content to an entire new level of learning for both students and faculty. With this new technology becoming increasingly prevalent and more affordable, dental education must adapt to the New World or face the possibility of extinction from the lack of change and innovation.
To explore this uncharted territory, the 3D Ed Tech Team and WesternU College of Dental Medicine created ARDent, a Microsoft HoloLens dental anatomy instructional game. ARDent engages the learner by providing an immersive, guided tour through the anatomy of each tooth and encouraging learner participation through its game modes and real-time leaderboards. Development is still ongoing, so stay tuned for future upgrades and features!