Dr. Pawel Kindler shows-off Fossa Finder to first-year dentistry students


Dr. Kindler wears an HTC Vive headset while navigating a virtual skull pictured on the screen above him.


Dr. Pawel Kindler shows-off Fossa Finder to first-year dentistry students

Written by Samantha Peng
Nov. 16, 2018

Fossa Finder is finally ready for its debut! On Nov. 8, Dr. Kindler showed-off his project to first-year dentistry students.

In cooperation with a team of students at the Emerging Media Lab and external consultant Peter Kao from Metanaut, Dr. Kindler created Fossa Finder to teach dentistry students about the Pterygopalatine Fossa, an important area in the skull that’s usually difficult to navigate due to its small and narrow nature.

The project is the first of its kind as no other virtual simulation of the P. Fossa has been created for this purpose before. The Fossa Finder team created an accurate scale-model of the skull in hopes that if students were able to manipulate the size and orientation of the P. Fossa they could better learn about it.

Students see the potential for VR in dentistry 

First-year dentistry student Raymond Mo thought that the VR project was a great idea. He saw the potential for enhanced learning in the project.

“When we tried to learn [about the P. Fossa] we were given a scale-model which sometimes can be challenging as some of the structures are too small for our fingers to point to and others we don’t have access to,” said Mo.

He said that even though VR equipment can be expensive, the learning is more interactive compared to learning from a 2D image.

Additionally, first-year dentistry student Jamie Jiang said she would like to see students get to test Fossa Finder. She suggested that labels be put onto the skull so students wouldn’t get lost navigating it.

Jiang also saw the potential for VR in dentistry to help students in other ways. She said it’s generally difficult for students to learn how to inject anesthetics, but VR could provide that simulated practice.

Check it out at EML’s Midterm Showcase 

Fossa Finder is still in its early phases, but the project opens up educational possibilities for future dentistry students. If you’re interested in trying Fossa Finder yourself, check it out at the EML Midterm Showcase on Thursday, Nov. 22 from 2-4 p.m. in Irving.