Haptic simulation framework for determining virtual dental occlusion

Wen Wu, Hui Chen, Yuhai Cen, Yang Hong, Balvinder Khambay, Pheng Ann Heng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE: The surgical treatment of many dentofacial deformities is often complex due to its three-dimensional nature. To determine the dental occlusion in the most stable position is essential for the success of the treatment. Computer-aided virtual planning on individualized patient-specific 3D model can help formulate the surgical plan and predict the surgical change. However, in current computer-aided planning systems, it is not possible to determine the dental occlusion of the digital models in the intuitive way during virtual surgical planning because of absence of haptic feedback. In this paper, a physically based haptic simulation framework is proposed, which can provide surgeons with the intuitive haptic feedback to determine the dental occlusion of the digital models in their most stable position.

METHODS: To provide the physically realistic force feedback when the dental models contact each other during the searching process, the contact model is proposed to describe the dynamic and collision properties of the dental models during the alignment. The simulated impulse/contact-based forces are integrated into the unified simulation framework.

RESULTS: A validation study has been conducted on fifteen sets of virtual dental models chosen at random and covering a wide range of the dental relationships found clinically. The dental occlusions obtained by an expert were employed as a benchmark to compare the virtual occlusion results. The mean translational and angular deviations of the virtual occlusion results from the benchmark were small.

CONCLUSIONS: The experimental results show the validity of our method. The simulated forces can provide valuable insights to determine the virtual dental occlusion. The findings of this work and the validation of proposed concept lead the way for full virtual surgical planning on patient-specific virtual models allowing fully customized treatment plans for the surgical correction of dentofacial deformities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595-606
Number of pages12
JournalComputer-Assisted Radiology and Surgery
Issue number4
Early online date6 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017


  • Computer Simulation
  • Dental Occlusion
  • Feedback
  • Humans
  • Patient Care Planning
  • User-Computer Interface
  • Journal Article
  • Validation Studies


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