Patient education is paramount in establishing the trust and confidence between dentists and their patients. VR was developed to enhance this relationship by providing more meaningful information.
According to the research, augmented virtual reality in the healthcare market will expand to become a $ 5.1 billion industry by 2025.
Traditionally, dentists have used 2D images to diagnose and plan your dental treatments, this can be time consuming and sometimes difficult to understand. Now, with VR, you can visualise your oral scans in a 3D virtual environment providing a better understanding of your condition.
Viewing your scan in virtual reality gives the dentist a more accurate representation, and assists in the planning of your treatment needs.
WHAT IS VIRTUAL REALITY?
Virtual Reality is a computer generated environment that presents a 3D landscape for the user to explore and interact with. You are completely immersed in the environment and can perform actions as well as manipulate objects. Turn your head or move your eyes, and your landscape shifts with you!
Imagine relaxing on the beach on a sunny day and enjoying the cool ocean breeze passing over you, while somewhere in the distance you can vaguely remember that you are also having a cavity filled. It is possible, with virtual reality!
Here are 8 ways virtual reality could improve your dental practice business!
1. Provide relaxation and pain management
In the old days, the dentists offer sedation medication for patients that feel anxious in the chair, now, many dentists also offers a tech-savvy alternative to pharmaceuticals. The patient wears a virtual reality headsets that is programmed to ‘transport’ patients to a quiet beach or a relaxing sunset scene, helping them harness the power of the mind.
This builds tranquil 3D environments that replicate the experience of sitting next to the ocean or lying beneath a starry sky. A sensor even detects your heart-rate, which is interpreted as a measure of your current state of relaxation.
2. Better Training is received
Of course, virtual reality procedures don’t just provide a benefit to dental students – practicing dental professionals can also use similar technology to try out new procedures in the “virtual world” before ever operating on a patient in the “real world.”
3. Simulate Your Ideal Office Design
Imagine being able to take a stroll through your dental practice, even before you dig a hole or swing a hammer. The latest virtual reality technologies will immerse you in a virtual environment that represents real life, and makes you feel as though you’re truly exploring your dream practice.
Design choices, which all can be changed with the push of a button, include building size and layout, specific pieces of equipment and technology, and even color finishes on flooring, cabinetry, and wall coverings.
This experience provides the benefit of allowing patients to make the right decisions then and there for very little cost, versus once the space has already been constructed.
4. Demystify Dental Procedures for Patients
The Cloud service increases treatment acceptance by allowing patients to consume educational multimedia about their suggested treatment plans on iPads and computer screens. Recent virtual reality developments take this successful proof of concept and crank it up a notch…or 20…
Users can consume educational facts about the heart, step inside its chambers, and see demonstrations of various heart conditions.
This type of program demystifies medical processes that would otherwise be abstract for the average patient, granting them meaningful understanding of the way their bodily systems function. One could easily see how this would translate to dental applications – patients could learn why they feel the way they feel when they have a toothache, what would happen during the treatment process, and how the suggested care would alleviate their symptoms.
5. Have Equipment Repairs Diagnosed Remotely
It would still be nice to cut down on in-office service calls, as well as the downtime that occurs when a piece of equipment is in disrepair.
Augmented and virtual reality was created with the use of the smart glasses that gives lab technicians visual instructions for performing maintenance tasks. If the user needs to press a particular button on a machine, or clean a specific area, the machine through the glasses, will provide instruction.
6. Increase Your Empathy for Patients
“A good patient is one to whom the dentist can relate; A bad one is one to whom he’s not able to relate.
The best dental care stems from good communication between patient and practitioner, and the best communication requires the underlying concept of empathy. Not only does finding empathy with patients help them feel understood and respected, establishing this connection will allow you to form a consensus on treatment options, and increase patient compliance with their treatment plan.
Enter virtual reality technology. Glasses are in development which simulate various conditions, including simulating visual field loss, or even glasses that when paired with a glove, simulate the inflammation of carpal tunnel syndrome. What dental professionals once could only glean from reading journals, they will soon be able to experience firsthand, truly understanding what’s happening in their patient’s body and how it is affecting them.
7. Perform Virtual Robotic Dentistry
Taking things a step further, virtual robotic surgery allows surgeons to operate on patients in a different location. As teledentistry continues to grow in both scope and success, it’s a definite possibility that we could see widespread adoption of virtual robotic dentistry in the coming years. This type of treatment could prove especially beneficial for patients in rural areas, patients in nursing homes, and others without access to more traditional care.
8. Alleviate Dental Anxiety
It was discovered through research that the benefits of VR in health care were proven in several ways to effectively treat anxiety and discomfort during medical treatment. By finding a needle-free, medication-free solution to helping patients put dental anxiety at ease, he hopes to make dental care possible again for those who need it, where every trip to the dentist can be a positive experience.