My friend said he can't even drive by a dentist's office without getting stressed out. He will avoid the dentist at all costs because he has previously suffered pain during a dental procedure. I mean these dental horror stories would make The Walking Dead seem like a walk in the park.
It is estimated that as many as 75% of adults experience some degree of dental fear, from mild to severe. Dental fear (also called odontophobia, dentophobia, dental phobia, and dental anxiety) prevents millions of us from seeking proper preventative care. These statistics are compelling when you consider the consequences of pervasive dental neglect. It goes far beyond dental pain or lost teeth. Gum disease is a serious infection that can affect other parts of the body. Studies now link it to illnesses including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. That's far more scarier than the zombies. But fear no longer my friends. Virtual Reality is changing the dental fear game.
VIRTUAL REALITY BENEFITS BOTH THE PATIENT AND THE DENTIST
It's no secret that out of all the medical professions, dentistry tends to get a bad rap. The good news is that more and more dentists understand their patients' fears. With a combination of kindness and gentleness they can do a lot to make dental treatment stress free. Some dentists utilize soothing music to relax their patients. Others have video screens for distraction. However, the truly fearful will not relax until they are no longer in the dentist chair.
We may think of virtual reality as a gamer’s gadget, when in fact it's a very useful tool that dentists can use to alleviate the fear and anxiety. Using virtual reality like MelloVR, patients enter into a meditative state that shifts their awareness away from their pain and fear. Virtual reality for dental practices is an important option for dental phobia and anxiety sufferers. Patients who currently avoid proper dental care could begin receiving the preventive and restorative treatment they need for healthy gums and teeth. VR can also improve the patient experience, benefitting the dentistry business. Great patient experience and new technology can even decrease chair time.
VIRTUAL REALITY MAKES DENTISTS VISITS SUCK LESS, STUDY SAYS
The study included three groups of participants: One that underwent a standard dental visit, one that wore VR experience that simulated a walk through a city, and one with a VR experience that simulated a stroll around Wembury Beach in Devon, England. Those who strolled the virtual beach reported less pain and anxiety from the procedure than either of the other groups. Findings suggest that VR can help but that the environment has a big impact on a patient’s stress reduction.
In previous studies, the creator of Virtual Wembury, Bob Stone, and his team compared how natural and urban settings affected patients, including sounds from both environments.
“We found that when urban sound, such as moving traffic, was included with the virtual town scene, the ratings of anxiety increased, whilst those for relaxation dropped,” Stone told Digital Trends. “In contrast, with the sound of the coastal area, such as lapping waves and gentle wind effects, a reduction of anxiety and increased ratings of relaxation was revealed.”
PUT YOUR PATIENCE FIRST WITH MELLOVR
Virtual reality (VR) distraction has become increasingly available in health care contexts and is used in acute pain management. MelloVR has launched it's VR relaxation solution for dentistry to increase visits to the dentists, help patients relax and forget those horror stories. And provide dentists an additional tool for improved customer experience. Contact us to learn more and get a free personal demo.