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Wednesday, 11 April, 2001, 16:30 GMT 17:30 UK
Gladiator goes to the dentist
Gladiator is a favourite choice among patients
Dentist James Goolnik has come up with a novel way of helping his patients relax - showing them the movie of their choice while under the drill.

Mr Goolnik, who runs the Bow Lane Dental Group in the City of London, offers patients the chance to enjoy Hollywood blockbusters through DVD glasses.

They can pick from a range of 20 popular titles, including Gladiator, Titanic and Erin Brockovich, to make their time in the chair more pleasurable.

"It helps calm people down, stops them fidgeting and gives them something to look at

James Goolnik

Mr Goolnik, 32, believes he is the only dentist in the UK to use the DVD glasses. He says his idea has gone down well with patients after just one week.

"Most of them take up the offer and say they have never enjoyed coming to the dentist as much," he told BBC News Online.

The glasses were originally designed for use with a Sony Playstation to free up the TV.

Mr Goolnik - a self-confessed gadget fan - designed the system to connect the glasses to a DVD player with wires running through the chair and under the floorboards.

He says there are great benefits to showing patients movies.

"It helps to calm people down, stops them fidgeting and gives them something to look at," he explained.

Car chases

The most popular movies from Mr Goolnik's collection are Gladiator, A Bug's Life and the BBC's TV series Walking with Dinosaurs.

Mr Goolnik says the series is particularly suitable because one episode will fit into a consultation.

Walking With Dinosaurs
Walking With Dinosaurs fits into several visits

Movies, however, have to be stopped before the end. So, Mr Goolnik sometimes has to let patients take the DVD home.

The only other disadvantage is that some patients get a little carried away when watching high-action films.

"With car chases people start moving their heads around as cars go around corners.

"And fight scenes sometimes make patients suddenly jolt."

Mr Goolnik came up with his idea after having had his own share of visits to the dentist.

"I thought there had to be a way to make the experience better," he explained.

"I hit on the idea of the DVD after I saw some people wearing personal stereos to block out the sound of the drill."

He says he intends to increase his choice of films. But he has drawn a line under some patients' requests for horror and blue movies.

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See also:

26 Mar 01 | Film
Crowe leads Gladiator to glory
08 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Gladiator DVD cuts Hillsborough photo
02 Apr 01 | dot life
Sound reasons to be confused
19 Dec 00 | Europe
France restricts Hollywood DVDs
17 Jan 01 | Health
Private dentists regulation call
28 Jun 00 | Sci/Tech
Big digital disk debuts
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