Breaking news: patients get nervous in the dental chair. And often, TV's on the ceiling just don't cut it.
Enter a new patient behavior management strategy that just. might. work....
We're going virtual, baby.
Not surprising, kids are distracted when you put a TV in front of them. But, we will do you one better. Things go even more smoothly when they are immersed in a virtual world away from those nasty inferior alveolar nerve blocks.
New research has confirmed something that makes sense: kids do well in the dental chair in virtual reality.
Using consumer virtual reality headsets to provide distraction during dental procedures. The good news? The research supports it.
- 😨It's a problem. The literature estimates that dental anxiety prevalence rate in pediatric patients is high: 20 to 43% to be exact
- 🛑Stop. One clinical study comparing virtual reality distraction and tell-showed-do revealed 10% lower stoppage of treatment rate with VR
- 💖Decreased. A cool measurable sign. Heart rate feedback showed a decreased rate during VR treatment.
- 👇Painless-ish. VR distraction also came along with a decreased pain perception.
Very Cool. But Not Very Practical?
While it's a novel idea, we can think of a few problems.
- Little kids with big headsets. A real problem could just be obtaining the proper visualization to perform procedures.
- Cost. Not exactly cheap. A quick Amazon search of VR headsets shows that the cost will set you back a bit.
- Contaminated. An expensive piece of technology and water, air, materials from a procedure seem like they won't mix.