***UPDATED: January 30, 2013*** Yet another step has been made towards pain-free dentistry with a recent study out of the University of Otago Dental School in New Zealand. After finding that a high number of children who have had extensive dental work done suffer most from anxiety and fear of the dentist, a new technique of treating tooth decay has been developed that doesn’t involve needles or drills. Instead, a stainless steel crown is placed over the effected baby tooth, sealing the decay in, causing it to stop or slow down. The crown stays in place until the child looses the tooth naturally. The technique is known as the “Hall technique,” after its developer, dentist Dr. Norma Hall of Scotland. It is believed that many dental phobias develop in childhood and carry over to adult life, leaving millions of people to avoid routine check-ups and therefore suffering from poor oral health. The findings of the study are set to be presented at the International Association of Dental Research Conference in Seattle this March.
For many patients suffering from dental phobia, one of the most terrifying aspects of a visit to the dentist is the threat of the dreaded needle often used to numb an area before a procedure. In fact, the very idea of being poked and prodded in the mouth with a needle is the reason so many Americans avoid the dentist all together, which research has shown is extremely detrimental to overall health. But good news was recently delivered in a CBS Miami story (“No Pain Necessary With Needle-Free Dental Injector”), which promised a solution for those dodging the pain.
The new device is called Injex, and instead of injecting anesthesia through a needle, it uses pressure to force the numbing agent directly through the tissue. As you can imagine, it’s already becoming quite popular with those who fear pain. There are very few dentists in South Florida who are currently using the new device, and like many new products, it is not yet covered by insurance. Injex can also not be used in procedures involving the lower jaw, due to the thickness of the bone located there, or for very long procedures. While the device is not being widely used at this point, it’s encouraging to know that the industry is creating new and innovative products to address the issue of dental phobia.
For the millions of Americans suffering from dental phobia, help is becoming more and more accessible through sedation dentistry. Pain free dentistry is not a myth, with a wide variety of anesthesia available to suit your unique circumstances. Oral sedation or nitrous (laughing) gas are most commonly used, however the professionals at Miami Dental Sedation Spa are also highly trained and qualified to use IV sedation, setting them apart from other sedation dentists in South Florida. Visit our website or contact our office to explore the many options available, and don’t let fear stand in the way of achieving the oral health you deserve any longer.