HypnoVR©: the first medical hypnosis solution using virtual reality to reduce patient anxiety during dental treatment
27 November 2019
This software solution is a non-drug, complementary alternative to other sedative and analgesic techniques (1)
At the annual conference of the French Dental Association (ADF), Pierre Fabre Oral Care, leader in the oral care segment in pharmacies, and HypnoVR, a French startup specialized in the development of medical hypnosis through virtual reality, announced the signature of a partnership with the goal of offering dental surgeons the chance to discover HypnoVR©, an innovative device for treating stress and anxiety in the treatment room.
According to the terms of the agreement, this partnership aims to speed up the adoption of HypnoVR by dental surgeons via the vast network of health care professionals who are partners of Pierre Fabre Oral Care. With the addition of this new device, PFOC also expands its offer of services, having secured an exclusive contract for the promotion of this innovative device.
Creating a calm atmosphere for patients and dental surgeons
According to a study (2) published by the French Oral Care Federation (UFSBD), half of all patients suffer from anxiety when undergoing dental treatment. This fear can even stop some patients from making an appointment with their dentist, or cause them to postpone treatment for as long as possible. Pierre Fabre Oral Care has always been one step ahead of the game when it comes to promoting well-being and tranquility during dental appointments. In 2016, the laboratory launched the first serious game called “I love my dentist” - a program that helped dental surgeons and their teams improve the way they handle patient anxiety right from the waiting room. Pierre Fabre is now building on that pledge by offering the members of its network the chance to discover HypnoVR, an alternative to pharmacological sedation, designed to make life as easy as possible for patients and dentists.
This new device rounds out our oral care and hygiene product portfolio by providing health care practitioners with a service. We are delighted with this partnership, which appealed to us for two reasons: its innovative aspect and the tranquility it brings to patients and practitioners
Docteur Pierre-Marie Voisin
Medical marketing manager, Pierre Fabre Oral Care
HypnoVR©, an innovative device designed by two anesthetists and hypnotists
Created by Doctors Chloé Chauvin and Denis Graff, assisted by Nicolas Schaettel, an expert in new technologies, HypnoVR© is a software program based on medical hypnosis techniques, which have already proven their effectiveness as a treatment for dental anxiety (3), and, combined with virtual reality, a tool which has also proven successful as a means of providing pain relief at the dentist’s office (4). HypnoVR© combines and exploits the full potential of the benefits of both a practice and a tool, culminating in a medical device that is capable of guiding patients toward an altered state of consciousness and maintaining them in that state throughout the duration of a stressful, anxiety-inducing procedure.
We were spurred to action by the fact that 80% of the population is responsive to hypnosis, and our ambition is to make this practice available to all using virtual reality and to establish its role as a non-drug, complementary alternative to other sedative and analgesic solutions. The results of several studies have shown that HypnoVR reduces stress and anxiety, creating the best possible conditions for patients and dentists
Co-Founder of HypnoVR
Using an easy-to-use software platform, practitioners can select an hypnotic text tailored to their procedure in just a few seconds, choose the duration of the session and offer their patient a choice of captivating visual themes and several original pieces of music providing music therapy, before fitting the device onto the patient and starting the session.
Patients are therefore immersed in a unique, multi-sensory experience, oblivious to the anxiety-inducing stimuli of the treatment room, while the practitioner performs the procedure in a tranquil atmosphere.
For over three years, HypnoVR© software has been attracting attention as the industry recognizes the benefits it offers for various medical indications and procedures, backed up by retrospective clinical studies presented at medical conferences, especially in the field of pediatric surgery (5), dental surgery (6) and medically assisted procreation (7). HypnoVR© software is a class 1 medical device suitable for adults and children aged 13 and above. It is contraindicated for psychiatric and psychological disorders such as claustrophobia, for psychotic disorders, for uncontrolled epilepsy and for patients with a visual or hearing impairment that prevents them from using virtual reality.
1- The most widely used being nitrous oxide, sold under the brand name Entonox: a colorless, odorless gas, a mixture of 50% oxygen and 50% nitrous oxide, which patients breathe in to relieve pain. This mixture has an anxiolytic and analgesic effect that wears off very quickly.
2- Pratiques Dentaires magazine (UFSBD) – June 2013 Faire face à l’anxiété en omnipratique (Treating anxiety in general practice)
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, 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 (Influence of hypnosis through virtual reality on the anesthetic strategy in children undergoing a surgical procedure to insert or remove a port catheter in outpatient care: a retrospective study)
6- F Clauss, L Bertagnolio, S Jung, M Strub, P Sadonès, C Chauvin et 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 functional unit in Strasbourg
7- Vinee G, Faitot V, Chauvin C, Graff D, Diemunsch P Étude pilote pour l’utilisation de l'hypnose en réalité virtuelle lors des ponctions ovocytaires (Pilot study for the use of hypnosis through virtual reality during egg retrieval from the ovaries) Poster for Hypnotism Day in the French-speaking world, February 2019