Dentists and other physicians have tried a number of methods to make injections less stressful and less painful for patients. Distractions like music and videos are widely available in medical settings, and the needles used for anesthetic injections and immunizations have been streamlined for patient comfort.
Fear of injections, however, continues to prevent many people from seeking dental care or other forms of medical attention. The makers of some new devices that use vibrations to ease the discomfort of injections aim to change that.
Based on research into pain mitigation, and in particular the gate control theory, a number of recent studies have focused on the use of vibrations around an injection site to block pain signals.
Gate control is the idea that some types of sensory stimulation can interrupt the pain signals before they reach the brain and trigger the sensation of discomfort. Emerging products like DentalVibe, Buzzy and Vibraject deliver vibrations to the injection area immediately before a shot is administered, and research into the effects of vibration on pain seems to back the makers’ claims that these devices help make injections a virtually pain-free affair.
A National Public Radio (NPR) feature about one of these pain-relief innovations points out that the vibrations have the added benefit of dilating veins, which makes it easier to successfully deliver the injection. These devices show promise for a number of dentistry and medical applications, especially for children; young children may be especially sensitive to pain, yet require multiple injections to meet immunization requirements.
Coping with Dental Phobia
While relatively few dental treatments require injections, many patients still experience anxiety over dental visits.
Sedation dentistry has become an increasingly popular option for patients who need dental care or desire cosmetic dentistry treatment but suffer from a phobia of dental work. Sedation dentistry uses a prescription oral sedative to put you in a state of deep relaxation for your visit.
The sedative allows you to remain conscious, but it induces a sense of calm and limits any associated discomfort. Sedation dentistry can be used for a wide variety of dental procedures, from routine checkups to cosmetic and restorative treatments.
If you live in the Austin, Texas, area and dental anxiety prevents you from seeking the care you need and deserve, please contact Dr. Dan Matthews online or call our dental office at 512-452-2273 to learn more about sedation dentistry and other options.