Scientists have found that putting patients in a virtual reality (VR) environment whilst being treated can reduce anxiety levels and even reduce their perceptions of pain.
Interestingly, however, the results vary depending on what kind of environment the patient is introduced to. If the patient is put into an urban environment, the benefits will not be as pronounced and the patient will not be as relaxed – in fact, there seemed to be no real change in behaviour at all. In contrast, more natural environments, like a beach, promoted far less stress and less anxiety in patients, with a marked decrease in their heart rates and blood pressure.
As we know, anything that helps a patient forget about pain is a good thing as it not only helps improve treatment results, but it also encourages people to come back for future treatment because they will not be as scared.
This could be a great breakthrough for dentists who struggle with anxious patients – indeed, odontophobia is a very common problem in the UK and the profession is always looking for new solutions to help them overcome these issues. Virtual reality may be the way forward, by introducing patients to a calming, natural environment that distracts them from treatments.
At EndoCare, we have been using this method for a long time. Our surgeries are equipped with video headsets that patients can wear during procedures. We play films and videos for them during root canal treatments to help distract them from the work we are doing to their teeth – and it certainly works! When our patients get involved with the film they are watching, they’re always surprised when we tell them when their root canal is finished – and are disappointed they didn’t get to the end!
EndoCare provides a specialist endodontic service – which means we work hard to save teeth both through conventional endodontic microsurgery.
Root Canal London
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