Augmented reality has been employed in association with advanced simulations for flight training and robotic surgical procedures, and now, with the advent of Apple's ARKit and Android's ARCore AR platforms, the prospects for future AR development for many other types of industries and activities is very bright. DDA is a leading developer of innovative software for medical organizations, and sees myriad ways for augmented reality to provide enhanced capabilities for many types of medical specialties. The practice of dentistry and orthodontia in particular can benefit from augmented reality's dynamic information delivery system, and ultimately incorporated into standard modes of practice.
Augmented reality uses the camera of a smartphone, tablet, or AR eyewear as the source of its interface. 3D graphics are layered into the perspective for a seamless integration of the virtual information with the actual setting. This allows for an immersive and interactive experience, one that enhances activities with augmented information presented in a dynamic, real-time system. The AR format lends itself to close, concentrated work, using both virtual and actual tools. Augmented reality can be programmed with haptic intelligence, a feature that provides sensory feedback from virtual objects to further enhance the simulation effect. Combined with high-resolution, photorealistic graphics, and diagrammatic information such as operational arrows and diagrams, augmented reality can dramatically enhance situations where close work is linked with detailed information. Additional text, charts, and other graphics can be added when necessary, for a completely vivid and engaging experience that can be used for both instruction and ongoing orthodontic practice.
Orthodontics are crucial for straighter and better functioning teeth, and more adults are opting to wear orthodontic appliances now, as new functional appliances have made the process more attractive and pleasant. Augmented reality apps for orthodontia can enhance the experience even further, providing tools for people to visualize braces and other appliances prior to installation, and allowing them to preview the ultimate results of a treatment program.
Augmented reality will serve to usher in a new phase of instruction and practice for the orthodontic profession, with cost-effective strategies designed for flexibility and long-term development that responds to changes in products and services. The ability to provide advanced visualization tools, while removing the liabilities and risks associated with standard training, will enable more people to gain access to high quality instruction and establish more comprehensive standards for the industry.
Users can access the app from their smartphone, tablet, or AR eyewear. Visualization tools for patients prior to application of braces will provide a simulation of their smile with the proposed braces. Photorealistic accuracy, with shadows, reflections, and even the wetness of the braces can give an effective picture of what the patient can expect. Professionals can show their patients models of their teeth before and after treatment, and provide 3D computer models to show each phase of the treatment process, as well as the different types of braces used in each treatment phase. Directional arrows can be applied to indicate the direction the jaws and teeth will move in response to the braces, and create a complete presentation of all facets of the long-term treatment plan.
The application can be used to track progress with images taken at each checkup. These images can then be used to display the accumulated progress of months in seconds to the patient, thus concretely showing the positive changes that are otherwise frequently too subtle to notice. Orthodontists can use augmented reality for their patient check-ups, with augmented reality graphics like circle highlights and moving arrows showing how each component in the functional appliances work to add space between teeth, change angles of teeth, and/or move teeth closer together. A training app can also be developed that simulates the orthodontic procedures by allowing users to add and modify virtual orthodontics on real anatomical models, leveraging physical feedback along with augmented reality visuals to train a new generation of orthodontic specialists and open up a new frontier of professional instruction.
DDA's award-winning history in the design and development of virtual medical simulations (VMS) has prepared it well for the challenges of augmented reality application development. DDA developed its first augmented reality project in 2009, and is ready to take AR into the next phase of development. DDA is conveniently located just outside of Philadelphia, and has one of the most comprehensive skill sets of any software production company anywhere, either locally or nationally. All work is done in-house, without the use of third parties. This allows DDA to control production costs while tracking a shared vision with clients. From 3D modeling and animation, graphic design and multimedia production, or any type of custom software programming and design, DDA is the medical augmented reality application developer that identifies core goals of the project, select the best tools for the job, and ensure a flawless end-user experience across all platforms and for every device. Learn more about DDA's AR app concepts for orthodontics, or tell us about your own. Contact us today.