VR and Dentistry: What Are Its Applications

VR’s implementation in the wider world has been and is being widely embraced. Like most new technology, its use early on is often pioneered in enterprise situations. Price points mean that most consumers and consumer-oriented companies aren’t capable of accessing these new technologies while they are in their infancy. As their usage begins in to increase, the tech improves, and its base-level iteration becomes cheaper on the market and cheaper to make. It’s all part of the process.

Virtual Reality

Consumers are mostly concerned with how they can use new technology in their own lives. Virtual reality’s scope, for them, is focused on computation and entertainment. Many products have already anticipated its use and have features geared towards its inclusion or at least trying to emulate it. For instance, online casino providers like casino.netbet.co.uk have live casino, where a table dealer is live-streamed to the gamer’s screen and the gamer can interact with their dealt cards via special recognition technology (which digitises real cards). The idea is that it tries to replicate that more “traditional” casino feel, bring the in-person social aspect into a remote setting. VR headsets are obviously geared toward enhancing this kind of experience, placing the gamer in a 360’d casino room with either a digital or photorealistic avatars.

Consumers will also benefit from the advent of VR in other situations outside of entertainment and computation, though. Dentistry is the example we’ll focus on today.

Dentistry and VR: Medical Research

Dentistry was an early adopter of virtual reality. It’s use in the medical fields offer a number of key avenues for use. Here are two ways its being used at the moment.

Number one is medical research. VR headsets will allow other dental practitioners greater access to seeing what the lead surgeon or dentist is doing. It’ll mean they can see in a first-person perspective which isn’t their own perspective. This has two benefits. Firstly, the operating room will have less people in, making it much, much safer for the patient and it will speed up the operation as there won’t be numerous people leaning in to get a look. Secondly, it’ll mean that more people interested in the research can see what’s going on as there won’t be any spatial limits.

It will also mean that more and more surgeries can be archived. As long as the patients permit, the database of surgeries for future reference can be expanded due to VR’s capability of recording and accessing video files.

Patient Distraction

On the patient side of things, VR offers a distraction. Put the headset on and they can be transported elsewhere, distracted from whatever the dentist is doing in their mouth. This use will likely be limited to practices who can afford it or restricted to specific patients who need it.

A possibly more consistent use will be to show patients around their own mouths. Mirrors and some camera work allow them to do that now, but it has to be done in the moment. With a mirror or camera in their mouth, patients might not fully be able to comprehend what it is the dentist is referring to or trying to communicate. VR will allow it to be done after the fact, when they can concentrate.

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