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Performance evaluation is indispensable for a surgical simulator to become acceptable. A haptics-based dental simulator (iDental) has been developed and preliminary user evaluation on its first-generation prototype has been carried out to gain the knowledge. Based on detailed requirement analysis of Periodontics procedures, a combined evaluation method including qualitative and quantitative analysis was designed. Construct validity was used to compare the performance difference between two groups of participants (faculty members and dental graduate students). These participants were required to perform three periodontal examination and treatment procedures including periodontal pocket probing, calculus detection, and removal. From the evaluation results, we found that penetration between tool and teeth or cheek will greatly decrease the fidelity of the simulation, therefore, it is necessary to utilize 6-DOF haptic device with both force and torque feedback in dental simulator, and accordingly it is needed to extend point-based rendering to 6-DOF haptic rendering of multiregion contacts. Furthermore, several other key research topics that will enable haptic technology to be effective in a practical dental simulator were identified, including simulation of deformable body such as tongue and gingival, and simulation of occlusion of tongue and cheek on teeth, etc.