The Surprising Benefits of Virtual Reality in Dentistry

With Christmas fast approaching, your kids may be asking for trendier shoes, new cell phones, or maybe, virtual reality headsets – and why wouldn’t they?

If you’re unfamiliar with technology, virtual reality headsets act sort of like goggles with screens placed over someone’s eyes, submerging them in a digital world.

Some of these devices even come with handles or controllers to allow the user to track the exact movements of their fingers in a digital landscape.

The question is: Are kids the only ones who will ask for this technology for the holidays? Or, does virtual reality offer those in the dental practice some legitimate benefits, as well?

While some people associate these devices solely with video games, virtual reality in dentistry can legitimately benefit both you, and your practice, in ways you might not have considered.

Let’s take a look at how this fascinating technology is changing the landscape, and opening new avenues of treatment.

Virtual Reality in Dentistry Education

In recent years, dental technology has been booming. 3D printers  and intraoral scanners have made life far easier for dentists trying to provide better, more effective treatments.

And yet, some are surprised to discover virtual reality is also being explored in the dental industry.

So far, dentists have found ways to use virtual reality to help educate up-and-coming students, bring more patients to the office, and help them examine patients’ teeth in exciting and innovative ways.

For instance, some students at the University of Queensland use virtual reality in their studies. With it, they now have the opportunity to interact with various holographic images in the classroom. 

One example displays an image which allows students to see through skin, and explore different body parts. This gives students a new way to learn about the mouth, neck, and head.

Virtual reality in dentistry also provides students with the ability to practice their future craft on digital patients.

In this same university program, the technology allows students to navigate a virtual dental clinic and work on virtual patients.

This offers students thorough practice and education, while alleviating some of the stress. Through the tech, students practice without risking any damage done to themselves or a living patient.

And, with similar technology, students even learn how to properly administer anesthesia.

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Beyond the Classroom

Virtual reality in dentistry has proven useful for professionals who have already moved on from their time in the classroom too.

Rather than looking at different models of hypothetical patients, some dentists are actually using virtual reality to interact with models of the patients they see regularly.

Rather than using molds, the dentist interacts with the model virtually to get a thorough understanding of their patient and the problems they may be dealing with. This also allows experimentation with different methods without causing pain to the patients or wasting their time.

Virtual reality also helps you by acting as a way to bring more patients to the office, and soothe those who arrive with apprehension.

Patients who struggle with anxiety before their appointment are being offered virtual reality to help relax them.

In the same way that you might have pictures of beaches or relaxing imagery painted at the end of your patient’s chair, others utilize virtual reality headsets to take things a step further, putting their patient right in the middle of a digitally-created beach. 

This idea has two different distinct benefits.

First, anxious patients are more likely to visit if you are able to offer them an alternative way to relax. Here, virtual reality in dentistry acts as a tool of reassurance.

Second, the technology helps encourage your younger, more skeptical patients to come in. Many people view virtual reality as an exciting piece of technology.

Even those who don’t interested in it for anxiety reduction could be excited just to have an opportunity to try virtual reality out.

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Key Takeaways

Virtual reality isn’t just for kids and video games.

These days, the use of new technology in the field of dentistry provides fascinating & innovative solutions to problems of the past.

Whether it’s a better way to teach students, a way to calm your most relaxed patients, or a draw for curious new patrons, virtual reality in dentistry

The next time you are looking into the countless technological advances surfacing in the dental industry, consider thinking about how virtual reality could benefit you and your practice.

If it fits, try it out. It may just turn your work and your office into a whole new world.

 

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About First Choice Dental Lab

First Choice Dental Lab is a full-service dental lab with locations in Downers Grove, Il. & Wauwatosa, Wi.

We manufacture & customize quality dental restorations for general dentists. We create smiles based on your needs and budget.

We’re here to help you give your patients a reason to smile!

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