Objectives and methods: Children, in the age-group of 6 to 8 years, with moderate level of anxiety, (measured with M-DAS), requiring inferior alveolar nerve block (IANB) for mandibular tooth extraction were selected. Informed consent was obtained from parents. Selected children were allocated randomly into 3 groups virtual reality (VR) distraction group, audio distraction group and Tell-show-do (TSD) group. Pre- and post- distraction anxiety level of children was measured subjectively with facial image scale and objectively with pulse rate and oxygen saturation (measured with pulse oxymeter).
Results: There was a statistically significant decrease in pulse rate after distraction (with a p < 0.01) in all the three groups. Postdistraction pulse rate was lowest in the VR distraction group when compared to other groups .While comparing postdistraction pulse rate values in the three groups, the difference in pulse rate between TSD and VR distraction group was significant. But while comparing the pulse rate between audio distraction and TSD group ( p = 0.06), and audio distraction and VR distraction group (p = 0.24) was not statistically significant. Oxygen saturation increased in all the three groups which was statistically significant (p < 0.01). There was a statistically significant difference in the postdistraction oxygen (O2) saturation levels between TSD and audio distraction groups (p < 0.05) with more O2 saturation in audio distraction group. But while comparing the audio distraction with VR group and TSD with VR group, the difference was not significant. Facial image scale (FIS) scores decreased in all the three groups (p < 0.01).
Conclusion: The overall results revealed by all the parameters indicate that children were most relaxed in VR group, followed by audio group and were least relaxed in TSD group during dental visits. Hence VR distraction can be considered as a useful technique for behavior management of pediatric patients during a conventional dental treatment.
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