Dentists and patients alike want to know how to make dental work less traumatic — and one possible solution may be to combine it with virtual reality. That’s why researchers in the UK enlisted 80 people who needed a cavity filled or a tooth pulled, and separated them into three groups. They gave the first two groups VR headsets, but not the unlucky third control group.
The VR groups either got to explore a beach or navigate a city. The people in the control group just stared at the ceiling while the dentist yanked on their teeth. (Everyone in the study got pain meds or sedation if they needed it.) Patients were surveyed both immediately after their appointments, and a week later.