Current state of the art in the use of augmented reality in dentistry: A systematic review of the literature

Marco Farronato, Cinzia Maspero, Valentina Lanteri, Andrea Fama, Francesco Ferrati, Alessandro Pettenuzzo, Davide Farronato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The aim of the present systematic review was to screen the literature and to describe current applications of augmented reality. Materials and methods: The protocol design was structured according to PRISMA-P guidelines and registered in PROSPERO. A review of the following databases was carried out: Medline, Ovid, Embase, Cochrane Library, Google Scholar and the Gray literature. Data was extracted, summarized and collected for qualitative analysis and evaluated for individual risk of bias (R.O.B.) assessment, by two independent examiners. Collected data included: year of publishing, journal with reviewing system and impact factor, study design, sample size, target of the study, hardware(s) and software(s) used or custom developed, primary outcomes, field of interest and quantification of the displacement error and timing measurements, when available. Qualitative evidence synthesis refers to SPIDER. Results: From a primary research of 17,652 articles, 33 were considered in the review for qualitative synthesis. 16 among selected articles were eligible for quantitative synthesis of heterogenous data, 12 out of 13 judged the precision at least as acceptable, while 3 out of 6 described an increase in operation timing of about 1 h. 60% (n = 20) of selected studies refers to a camera-display augmented reality system while 21% (n = 7) refers to a head-mounted system. The software proposed in the articles were self-developed by 7 authors while the majority proposed commercially available ones. The applications proposed for augmented reality are: Oral and maxillo-facial surgery (OMS) in 21 studies, restorative dentistry in 5 studies, educational purposes in 4 studies and orthodontics in 1 study. The majority of the studies were carried on phantoms (51%) and those on patients were 11 (33%). Conclusions: On the base of literature the current development is still insufficient for full validation process, however independent sources of customized software for augmented reality seems promising to help routinely procedures, complicate or specific interventions, education and learning. Oral and maxillofacial area is predominant, the results in precision are promising, while timing is still very controversial since some authors describe longer preparation time when using augmented reality up to 60 min while others describe a reduced operating time of 50/100%. Trial registration: The following systematic review was registered in PROSPERO with RN: CRD42019120058.

Original languageEnglish
Article number135
JournalBMC Oral Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 8 2019


  • Augmented reality
  • Dental training
  • Digital dentistry
  • Education
  • Implantology
  • Maxillofacial surgery
  • Orthodontics
  • Systematic review
  • Virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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