Virtual Reality in Dentistry
I recently employed the use of virtual reality at Rossview Dental. I was able to work along side Dr. Brandon Birckhead of Immergence Tech. With his help, we have been giving our patients a better experience at their appointments. Our office was featured in newsprint (The Leaf Chronicle and USA Today) and Nashville television (News Channel 5). Below is an informative guest post by him:
My name name is Brandon Birckhead, founder of Immergence a company that provides VR services for clinical practice. Virtual reality has been studied in dentistry for over 20 years. However, its only been the last two years that the technology has advanced enough to allow everyday patients to benefit from it. Immergence is proud to serve both Rossview Dental as it is the first practice in Tennessee to use VR within their daily practice.
There are several benefits of using virtual reality technology during your appointment that is based on clinical studies showing statistically significant results:
High levels of enjoyment with using VR technology and preference over not using technology.
Several studies showed a decrease in heart rate using VR headset vs control.
Several studies showed that the higher the anxiety around dentistry the larger the benefit VR had on the patient.
A few studies have also shown that dentist preference to use the device over control and did not interfere with providers work.
Increase in calmness, decrease in discomfort, Decreased pain, and decrease anxiety
Several clinical studies showed that patients felt less anxious and more calm with VR headset vs. control.
There are several studies using the technology with injections and restorative treatment showing a benefit during painful procedures
Control in the cases above is referring to the arm of the study that did dental procedures without VR technology. If you would like to read the studies with the results above please visit (https://www.immergencetech.com/research-index/#dental-research). I am looking forward to the future as there are many VR programs that will be made in the next 12 months - many specifically for dentistry. Every patient that has anxiety about dentistry will have an improved experience with this new way of technology.