Afraid of the dentist? You’re not alone: play a game to beat your dental phobia

Afraid of the dentist? You’re not alone: play a game to beat your dental phobia


Welcome, this is TU TV. We are now at the
dentist who is specialised in treatments for people who
are very scared for the dentist. I am going to meet the dentist now. So you are a dentist here and you treat people
who are extremely scared of the dentist, can you tell me something about your work. Yeah,
we call it specific dental phobia, they postpone the dental treatment, they don’t go to sleep,
they have like this nightmares from the dentist. A lot of people have it, around 800.000 people in the Netherlands, so they don’t visit a regular dentist. And once they postpone
it, the work that needs to be done is a lot bigger. I am here now with a researcher who
has a solution to that problem. We have a solution that basically consists of having
patients play a game on a personal display throughout the whole treatment. Because of
this they would pay less attention and give no importance to the pain and discomfort they
have during the treatment. We have game design constraints for this because the duration
and a kind of the mobility the player has. The other aspect is that the technology itself
used in the game should be very simple and very easy to control. It sounds very interesting,
can I really try it? Off course you can! So as you see, the game is made such, that
it is a very relaxing environment and you are steering the submarine through all these
tunnels in a very smooth and calm way. One of the constraints they give us is, the game
should not have huge surprises and shocks and mood changes. Another interesting constraint
is that you are supposed to be always accessible and so that the dentist can ask you questions
and you can still continue playing. This was really cool to try, I am actually
looking forward to go to the dentist next time! Thank you for watching and I see you
next time.

Author: Kevin Mason

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