January 11, 2016
A few days ago I treated a patient who had spent years ducking and hiding from dental offices. She had let her fear dictate her oral health and had gone far too long without so much as a basic teeth cleaning.
As a dentist, I know that millions of Americans struggle with dental fear. Each one of those fearful patients has different reasons they avoid the dental office.
This patient, in particular, had had a few bad experiences at other dentists and was doubtful that I could help her. The more we spoke, the more I realized that she was downright terrified of getting injections. She told me that no dentist she visited could master delivering an injection that wasn’t extremely painful.
I understand the trepidations patients have with needles and injections. No one wants to have an injection in their mouth, even the intention is to numb the area! A few years ago, I started asking myself a simple question: “Why must patients go through the pain to have their gums numbed?” After much review and additional training, I finally found a solution that allows patients to have pain-free injections almost 100 percent of the time.
Don’t Start Your Dental Treatment Off in Pain
About 20 percent of Americans struggle with some level of dental fear, and that often means skipped dental appointments, which leads to serious dental problems. One of the biggest fears for patients is the fear of painful procedures.
Some of us have had painful treatments in the past, while others are convinced certain treatments will be painful. I’m convinced that pop culture – think about the movies and TV shows that play into painful dental procedures – has exacerbated this problem, but I also want to be sensitive to patients’ needs.
That’s why my office has implemented VibraJect, a small handheld device that allows me to deliver local anesthesia pain-free. The best thing is the device needs no preparation, and it actually speeds up the numbing effect. Traditional local anesthesia can take several minutes to kick in, but the VibraJect gets patients numb much faster.
The concept of the device is very simple. We place the VibraJect on the gums where the injection will be placed. Once activated, the vibration blocks the pain signals from reaching the brain. The truth is that most patients don’t even realize that I’ve given the shot.
VibraJect has become a huge part of my practice because it relieves the anxiety of so many patients and gets them comfortable in the chair. They enjoy knowing that they will not have to endure any pain during their visits.
Visit Our Dental Office
In addition to VibraJect, we offer patients nitrous oxide to help them relax in the dental chair. But the truth is that not all patients need sedation dentistry like nitrous oxide. Some dental offices go crazy with sedation dentistry, and it can because extremely expensive for the patients. As a doctor, I’m not a fan of giving patients drugs that they do not need.
There are scores of my patients who are perfectly comfortable in the dental chair and enjoy having their teeth cleaned, but they prefer using the VibraJect when they are having restorative dental work.
This includes the patient I mentioned earlier. She now schedules regular cleanings and no longer get anxious when she knows we need to schedule restorative work. If you find yourself getting nervous in the dental chair at the thought of needles, contact our office at 618-219-1412 to see first-hand how our comfortable dentist can give you pain-free treatments.