HypnoVR©: The First Virtual Reality Medical Hypnosis Solution For Reducing Patient Anxiety During Dental Treatment

HypnoVR©: The First Virtual Reality Medical Hypnosis Solution For Reducing Patient Anxiety During Dental Treatment

The software solution is a drug-free alternative and adjunct to other sedation and analgesic techniques(1).

At the annual conference of the French Dental Association (ADF), Pierre Fabre Oral Care, the leader for oral care in pharmacies, and HypnoVR, a French startup specializing in the development of virtual reality medical hypnosis solutions, announced the signing of a partnership to offer dental surgeons the chance to use HypnoVR©, an innovative device that helps treat stress and anxiety in the treatment room.

According to the terms of the agreement, the aim of this partnership is to speed up the adoption of the HypnoVR device by dental practitioners, using Pierre Fabre Oral Care’s vast partner network of healthcare professionals. With this new solution, PFOC is also expanding its service offering, as the exclusive promoter of this innovative device.

Creating a calm atmosphere for patients and dental surgeons alike

According to a study(2) published by the French Union for Oral Care (UFSBD), half of all patients receiving dental treatment suffer from anxiety. This fear can cause some patients to avoid consulting their dentist or to put off treatment for as long as they can. Pierre Fabre Oral Care has always been one step ahead of the game when it comes to promoting calm and well-being during dental treatment. In 2016, the company launched its first serious game, called “I Love My Dentist”—a program offering dental surgeons and their teams a better way to handle patient anxiety, right from the waiting room. Today, Pierre Fabre reaffirms its commitment to this aspect of dental care by giving its partner network the chance to use HypnoVR, an alternative to pharmacological sedation that provides maximum benefit to both patients and dental practitioners.

“This rounds out our oral care and hygiene product portfolio, as we can now also provide a service to healthcare practitioners. We are delighted with this partnership, which appealed to us for two reasons: its innovative aspect and the comfort and calm that it offers patients and practitioners.” Dr. Pierre-Marie Voisin, Medical Marketing Manager at Pierre Fabre Oral Care.

HypnoVR©: an innovative device designed by two anesthesiologists and hypnotherapists

Created by doctors Chloé Chauvin and Denis Graff, together with Nicolas Schaettel, an expert in new technologies, HypnoVR© is a software program based on medical hypnosis techniques—the effectiveness of which has already been proven in the treatment of dental anxiety(3)—combined with virtual reality, which has also been proven effective as a tool for pain management in dental practices(4). HypnoVR© therefore combines and maximizes the benefits of both a method and a tool, resulting in a medical device capable of inducing an altered state of consciousness in the patient and maintaining this state for the duration of a stressful, anxiety-inducing procedure.

“We began from the premise that 80% of the population is suggestible to hypnosis, and our ambition is to widen access to this method through virtual reality, making it a drug-free alternative and adjunct to other sedation and analgesic techniques. The results of several studies have proven that HypnoVR reduces stress and anxiety, putting patients and dentists at ease.” Nicolas Schaettel, Co-Founder of HypnoVR.

With an easy-to-use software platform, it takes a matter of seconds for the practitioner to select a hypnotic script tailored to the procedure, choose the session duration, and offer the patient a choice of various captivating visual worlds and original music therapy compositions before fitting the device onto the patient to start the session.
Patients can enjoy a unique multisensory experience, unaffected by the anxiety-inducing stimuli in the treatment room, leaving the dentist to perform the procedure in a calm environment.

Over the past three years, the benefits of HypnoVR© software in various medical indications and procedures have been proven through retrospective clinical studies presented at medical conferences, primarily in the fields of pediatric surgery(5), dental surgery(6), and medically assisted reproduction(7). HypnoVR© is a class 1 medical device intended for adults and children aged 13 years and over. It is contraindicated for psychiatric or psychological disorders such as claustrophobia, as well as for psychotic disorders, uncontrolled epilepsy, and vision or hearing problems preventing the use of virtual reality.

1. Most commonly, an equimolar mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide (EMONO): a colorless, odorless gas made up of a mixture of 50% oxygen and 50% nitrous oxide and administered by inhalation. This mixture is anxiolytic and has an analgesic effect that wears off quickly.
2. Pratiques Dentaires magazine (UFSBD) – June 2013 Faire face à l’anxiété en omnipratique [Handling Anxiety In Family Medicine]
3. Barbara Atzori, Rosapia Lauro Grotto, Andrea Giugni, Massimo Calabrò, Wadee Alhalabi, and Hunter G. Hoffman*. Virtual Reality Analgesia for Pediatric Dental Patients
4. Halsband, U.; Wolf, T.G. Functional Changes in Brain Activity after Hypnosis in Patients with Dental Phobia, Journal of Physiology – Paris (2016)
5. T. Arat, MD; AS. Guilbert, MD; C. Chauvin; N. Tuzin; I. Talon; P. Diemunsch. Influence d’un accompagnement hypnotique par la réalité virtuelle sur la stratégie anesthésique chez l’enfant opéré d’une chirurgie pour pose ou dépose de chambre implantable en ambulatoire : étude rétrospective [Effect of virtual reality hypnosis on the anesthetic strategy in children undergoing outpatient surgery to insert or remove an implantable port: a retrospective study]
6. F. Clauss, L. Bertagnolio, S. Jung, M. Strub, P. Sadonès, C. Chauvin, M-C. Manière. Protocole de réalité virtuelle pour la prise en charge du patient anxieux : applications cliniques et résultats d’une étude pilote menée à l’Unité Fonctionnelle d’Odontologie Pédiatrique de Strasbourg [Virtual reality protocol for the treatment of patients suffering from anxiety: clinical applications and results of a pilot study conducted at the Pediatric Dentistry Department of the University Hospitals of Strasbourg]
7. G. Vinee, V. Faitot, C. Chauvin, D. Graff, P. Diemunsch. Étude pilote pour l’utilisation de l’hypnose en réalité virtuelle lors de ponctions ovocytaires [Pilot study for the use of virtual reality hypnosis during puncture for oocyte retrieval]. Poster for the Journée Francophone de l’Hypnose, February 2019

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