There was a time when your dentist had the patience to chit-chat with you as you sat in the chair, mouth full of metal and cotton, mumbling back with words that lacked all consonants. Today, however, these one way conversations simply don’t suffice for the iPod generation. To alleviate the dentist from being a part-time entertainer, Dutch company relaxView B.V. is marketing a heads up display that purports to be effective at distracting the patient from the realities of the procedure. This, though, seems fundamentally no different than the SnowWorld application we’ve seen for burn victims.
From the press release:
Pain or pleasure
“It is all about focus” according to Dr. Rob Roef, dentist in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. “Patients that, only occasionally see, hear, taste and smell the things that happen in a dentistry tend to become very sensitive even for the more simple procedures.” “The pain that people experience should not be minimised.” “Some people are so frightened that they require anaesthetic treatment, or they simply don’t seek necessary treatment until it is too late.” “Facilitating and helping to get the patients’ focus away from pain to pleasure pays off for both the patient and the dentist.”
Newest video eyewear
Video eyewear has been on the market for years and the specifications have improved dramatically lately. Now the immersive virtual screen that the patient sees is an image of almost 1.5 metres at a distance of three metres, in VGA resolution. Adjustments of the nose support lead to optimum comfort levels. The new generation video eyewear has, along with a modernized look, become smaller and less bulky, so the dentist can do his work without the video eyewear becoming an obstacle. Dr. Roef notes:”Weighing only 65 grams the days of having something the size of a refrigerator on the patient’s head are now gone.”
Patient — dentist communication maintained
Distraction is one thing, but does this imply that there won’t be any communication anymore? With the latest video eyewear the patient continues to be able to have eye contact with the dentist by focusing the eyes above the video screen. The volume level is adjustable and using only one earphone, for example, ensures that the communication between patient and dentist is maintained.
Press release: Newest Video Eyewear Helps Dental Patient to Relax
(hat tip: Engadget)