Researchers to use virtual reality to study dental patient anxiety

A team of researchers at the University of Toledo (Ohio) will launch a study to examine the psychological factors that prevent patients from seeking dental care, the school said Oct. 15.

The study will be led by Andrew Geers, PhD, and Laura Seligman, PhD, using a three-year, $1.28 million grant from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Their team includes researchers from Wayne State University in Detroit, Arizona State University in Tempe and the University of Sydney in Australia.

Study participants will take part in virtual reality simulations, where researchers will track reports of anxiety and physiological markers associated with anxiety. Researchers hope to create preventive treatments for dental fear and phobias.

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