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Article: Volume 44 Number 5 Page 423 - May 2017

  Dent Update 2017; 44: 423-435  Read article

General Dental practice:  Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy for Treatment of Dental Phobia

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Abstract: Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy (VRET) has gained in popularity as an effective treatment for anxiety disorders. The purpose of this article is to determine the applicability of VRET in the treatment of dental phobia of two patients. Two case examples of female dental patients, aged 56 and 24 years, who met the criteria for dental phobia according to the Phobia Checklist, illustrate the use of VRET in the dental setting. VRET that is used as a psychological treatment for dental fear and dental phobia can potentially be given by a non-specialist (for example dental assistant), thereby making it a cost-effective therapy for the treatment of dental phobia.

Clinical relevance: This article is the first of its kind to demonstrate Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy (VRET) in the treatment of dental anxiety.

Author notes: Kumar Raghav Gujjar, MDS (Paediatric Dentistry), PhD Candidate, Department of Social Dentistry, Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam (ACTA), University of Amsterdam and VU University, 1081 LA Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Dentistry, SEGi University, No 9 Jalan Teknologi, Kota Damansara, PJU-5, Petalingjaya-47810, Selangor, Malaysia, Ratika Sharma, MDS(Public Health Dentistry), PhD Candidate, School of Public Health, The University of Queensland, Public Health Building, Cnr Wyndham St and Herston Rd, Herston QLD 4006, Australia and Ad De Jongh, PhD, Professor, Department of Social Dentistry, Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam (ACTA), University of Amsterdam and VU University, 1081 LA Amsterdam, The Netherlands; School of Health Sciences of Salford University, Manchester, UK.

Objective: To understand the role that Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy (VRET) plays in reducing the state anxiety and trait dental anxiety in dental phobic patients.

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