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VR Makes Trips To The Dentist Less Painful

Virtual reality continues to find uses outside of just gaming and entertainment, and if recent research is anything to go by, your next VR experience could be at the dentist.

A study by UK researchers published in the journal Environment and Behaviour found that people undergoing extractions and fillings at the dentist reported less pain when viewing a particular VR environment.

Patients shown a VR coastal walkthrough not only reported feeling less pain than others that received a standard procedure, but also lower recalled pain in a follow up a week later.

The researchers noted the findings appeared to only apply to the natural coastal VR environment shown to some patients and not to an urban VR shown to others, which did not differ significantly from patients receiving standard treatment.

However, technical issues with VR saw five participants unable to continue in the study. A further four people requested to stop the VR, highlighting the fact that, despite the findings, VR might not be the solution for every dental patient.

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