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J Am Dent Assoc. 2009 Dec;140(12):1508-16.

Virtual reality distraction for pain control during periodontal scaling and root planing procedures.

Author information

1
Department of Comprehensive Care, Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine, Cleveland, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although pain management during periodontal treatment usually is achieved with anesthesia, alternative methods are available. The authors conducted a study to evaluate the analgesic effect of immersive virtual reality (VR) during periodontal scaling and root planing (SRP) procedures.

METHODS:

The authors recruited 38 patients. They used a within-patient/split-mouth design. Patients received SRP under three treatment conditions in three quadrants. The three conditions were control, watching a movie and VR. After each SRP procedure, patients responded to questions about their discomfort and/or pain by using a visual analog scale (VAS) (range, 0 to 10 in which lower numbers indicate less pain or discomfort). The authors also recorded patients' blood pressure (BP) and pulse rate (PR). Patients were asked which of the three treatment modalities they preferred.

RESULTS:

The mean (+/- standard deviation) VAS scores for five questions pertaining to control, movie and VR were 3.95 +/- 2.1, 2.57 +/- 1.8 and 1.76 +/- 1.4, respectively. Paired t tests revealed that VAS scores were significantly lower during VR compared with the movie (P <.001) and control (P <.001) conditions. Similarly, BP and PR were lowest during VR, followed by the movie and control conditions. Patients reported that they preferred the VR condition.

CONCLUSION:

The results of this study suggest that use of immersive VR distraction may be an effective method of pain control during SRP procedures.

CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS:

Practitioners can use immersive VR distraction for pain control during SRP procedures.

PMID:
19955069
DOI:
10.14219/jada.archive.2009.0102
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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