When Will VR Be an Option at My Elgin Dentist?

I’m curious to know if virtual reality will be something that my Elgin dentist is likely to pick up on soon. I read an article that scientists just studied the effects of VR with dental patients and that it helped reduce pain and anxiety. I’m not sure I believe in all that, but it would be interesting to try. I have dental phobias as it is, so it’s hard for me to get up the courage to see my Elgin dentist. Truth be told, I usually only do it when I have to or when something hurts, but this might be the thing that gets me in more.



Dear Rusty,

Even though virtual reality started out as a cool concept that gamers flocked to, people are finding all kinds of practical applications for it these days. In recent years, research has been done to test its effectiveness across many different areas of medicine. Most of these studies indicate it reduces pain and anxiety. So, it’s no wonder that it’s being tested out in dentistry as well.

Of course, this isn’t without challenges. As you probably know, the whole point of VR is to create an alternate reality that feels real, and so many people react to whatever is on their screen. In video games, you may raise your weapon or try to duck to avoid an object, but in dentistry, it’s (obviously) really important that you remain still. Now, they’re not going to be showing people action-packed scenes that would provoke a reaction- the last thing anyone wants is for a patient to take a swing at their Elgin dentist in response to something on screen, but what they’re finding out is that even the most mellow videos can cause a reaction. Perhaps the wind blowing through the trees creates movement that startles the person or looking down may make the person feel like they’re falling. There’s also the very real possibility of claustrophobia kicking in and some people throw up from the sensations.

The units are presently selling for under $1,000, but when you take into account the need for accessories and different games or videos, as well as the cost of replacing all the dentist’s shoes from being thrown up on repeatedly, the overall benefit is questionable at best.

Cool tech aside, why not visit a cater to coward’s dentist? The theory behind VR is that when you’re relaxed, you feel more comfortable. By visiting an office that specializes in providing a calming atmosphere, you’ll achieve roughly the same benefits. Nitrous oxide may also be another viable option.

This blog is sponsored by Elgin dentist, Dr. Steve Sirin.

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