Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Computer Science

First Advisor

Susan Brilliant


Computer-aided education in dental schools is greatly needed in order to reduce the need for human instructors to provide guidance and feedback as students practice dental procedures. A portable computer-aided educational system with advanced digital image processing capabilities would be less expensive than current computer-aided dental educational systems and would also address some of their limitations. This dissertation outlines the development of novel components that would be part of such a system. This research includes the design of a novel image processing technique, the Directed Active Shape Model algorithm, which is used to locate the tooth and drilled preparation from a digital image, and also to measure the exact size, shape and location of the drilled preparation in relation to the expected preparation. The use of statistical measures taken from the digital images to provide feedback about the smoothness and depth of the dental preparation is also detailed. This research also includes the design and testing of a posture-monitoring component for a portable educational system. Maintaining proper posture is critical for dental practitioners, because poor posture can affect not only the dental practitioner's health, but also the quality of the practitioner's work. The algorithms and techniques designed for use in the dental education support system could also be applied in the design of computer-aided educational systems for the development of procedural skills in many other fields, and in the design of systems to support practicing dentists.


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Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2010