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Retraction published on 28 July 2020, see J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(8), 2404.
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Use of Virtual Reality for the Management of Anxiety and Pain in Dental Treatments: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Department of Surgery, University of Salamanca, Instituto de Investigación Biomédica de Salamanca (IBSAL), 37007 Salamanca, Spain
Department of Biomedical and Diagnostic Sciences, University of Salamanca, Avda. Alfonso X El Sabio S/N, 37007 Salamanca, Spain
Department of Morphological Sciences, University of Cordoba, Avenida Menéndez Pidal s/n, 14071 Cordoba, Spain
Institute for Occlusion and Orofacial Pain Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, Polo I - Edifício Central Rua Larga, 3004-504 Coimbra, Portugal
Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry, Facultad de Odontología, Campus de Cartuja s/n, 18071 Granada, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(4), 1025;
Received: 26 February 2020 / Revised: 27 March 2020 / Accepted: 27 March 2020 / Published: 5 April 2020
Background: Dental treatments often cause pain and anxiety in patients. Virtual reality (VR) is a novel procedure that can provide distraction during dental procedures or prepare patients to receive such type of treatments. This meta-analysis is the first to gather evidence on the effectiveness of VR on the reduction of pain (P) and dental anxiety (DA) in patients undergoing dental treatment, regardless of age. Methods: MEDLINE, CENTRAL, PubMed, EMBASE, Wiley Library and Web of Science were searched for scientific articles in November 2019. The keywords used were: “virtual reality”, “distraction systems”, “dental anxiety” and “pain”. Studies where VR was used for children and adults as a measure against anxiety and pain during dental treatments were included. VR was defined as a three-dimensional environment that provides patients with a sense of immersion, transporting them to appealing and interactive settings. Anxiety and pain results were assessed during dental treatments where VR was used, and in standard care situations. Results: 31 studies were identified, of which 14 met the inclusion criteria. Pain levels were evaluated in four studies (n = 4), anxiety levels in three (n = 3) and anxiety and pain together in seven (n = 7). Our meta-analysis was based on ten studies (n = 10). The effect of VR was studied mainly in the pediatric population (for pain SMD = −0.82). In the adult population, only two studies (not significant) were considered. Conclusions: The findings of the meta-analysis show that VR is an effective distraction method to reduce pain and anxiety in patients undergoing a variety of dental treatments; however, further research on VR as a tool to prepare patients for dental treatment is required because of the scarcity of studies in this area. View Full-Text
Keywords: virtual reality; distraction systems; dental anxiety; pain virtual reality; distraction systems; dental anxiety; pain
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López-Valverde, N.; Muriel Fernández, J.; López-Valverde, A.; Valero Juan, L.F.; Ramírez, J.M.; Flores Fraile, J.; Herrero Payo, J.; Blanco Antona, L.A.; Macedo de Sousa, B.; Bravo, M. Use of Virtual Reality for the Management of Anxiety and Pain in Dental Treatments: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9, 1025.

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