Using Virtual Reality to Make Dentist Visit Less Traumatic
Dentists and dental patients would like to make sure that dentist visits are less traumatic for patients than they are now. In a study published in Environment and Behavior, this wish could come true if dentists incorporate virtual reality into their practice.
Using Virtual Reality as a Distraction
In their quest to make the procedure painless, UK researchers gathered a group of 80 patients and divided into three groups. The first and second groups were given VR headsets to explore either a beach or a city, while the third group was left to stare at a blank ceiling. However, everyone in the group was sedated or given pain medication if need be.
After the procedures, both groups were closely monitored immediately after the procedure and one week later. Those who were put under VR exploring beaches reported to have less pain and stress than those who were exploring cities or put under no form of distraction, the study reported.
Although both beach and city exploration seems like a better alternative than having to watch a dentist drilling through your teeth, further studies need to confirm the whether this holds up. However, two patients under the VR removed their headsets in the claim of dizziness and feeling hot, adding more reason for further research.
Alternatives for Full VR Dental Experience
All the same, both scenarios are unimaginative especially if you think about the endless possibilities of unique experiences you could pair virtual reality with instead of watching a shrieking a dental drill on your mouth. As a way to add the researcher’s ideas, we came up with a few menu options that could be given a full VR dental experience.
Under the Sea
A seascape gives you an opportunity to swim with the fish and other marine life as well as explore the sunken shipwreck. The inclusion of whistles and whale moans helps you forget that you have a dentist who is drilling your teeth. Additionally, if you are free from claustrophobia, the dentists can splash you with water for an additional $20.
this virtual reality gives you an opportunity to explore mountainous peaks as snow falls on you. This makes a good distraction to make you forget what the dentist is doing to your pearly whites. If you want, the dentist can turn on the AC for an additional $50 to make the temperatures more frigid.
An Out of this World Dental Experience: Can you imagine combining your dental experience with a visit to the planetarium? If you would like this experience, then you can choose a deluxe VR where you can have shooting stars distract your attention from the dentists and his work. However, you should avoid it if you suffer from motion sickness that would lead to vomiting. Remember, that will cost you an extra $200.