For many people, suffering from ‘dentophobia’ really means suffering from a fear of something more specific. It could be fear of pain, fear of the drill or fear of choking, for example. They all usually have similar sorts of symptoms and they all usually result in people not visiting their dentist. But when it comes to treating them, it is helpful to know exactly what the root cause of your fear is.
There are many treatment options for people who suffer from dentophobia. However, not everyone wants to confront their fear. For a lot of phobia sufferers, the best form of treatment for their phobia is to find a dentist that understands how they feel and tailors their practice accordingly.
To help these kinds of phobia sufferers, many dentists are embracing new types of products that are specially designed to make visiting the dentist a less painful, less stressful and less terrifying experience.
Terrified of injections?
One of the most common forms of dental phobia is a fear of needles or injections. This type of phobia can make dental treatment very difficult for obvious reasons. Many types of treatment rely on anaesthetic injections to numb the patient. If the patient is not comfortable receiving injections, it means that the required treatment can often not be completed. Alternatively, even if the patient is able to confront their fear, their anxiety and stress levels can also mean that the anaesthetic is not effective.
To help treat these kinds of patients, there are now a number of products that dentists can use which remove the fear and pain from injections, or which remove the need for an injection altogether. One of these products is The Wand.
What is The Wand?
The traditional dental syringe has never changed much in its design – and dentists have been using syringes since 1853! So you could say it is about time something new arrived on the scene.
What many patients who suffer from a needle or injection phobia don’t realise is that the pain does not usually come from the needle. Certainly, a slightly blunt needle can cause discomfort, but it is rare to find a blunt needle in a modern surgery. Most syringes now are disposables that are used only once.
In reality, the pain caused by injections is created by the anaesthetic being delivered to quickly or with too much force. Primarily, this is simply due to the dentist being a little clumsy or heavy-handed – it happens from time to time. But imagine if there was a system available that delivered the anaesthetic at the perfect speed, every time! Painful injections would be a thing of the past!
This is exactly what The Wand does. The flow of anaesthetic is computer-controlled by the CompuDent hardware, while The Wand is the handpiece that holds the needle. Operating together, they remove the possibility of the injection being delivered accidentally fast.
So there is still a needle and injection?
Yes. Once again, the difficult issue with dentophobia is that there are so many variations and so many differences between sufferers. So a product that may be a revelation for one patient could still be terrifying for the next.
The aim of The Wand is to remove the pain from injections. So it is primarily a product to help people who suffer from a phobia of dental pain. If you have a phobia of injections, it could be that your phobia is still pain-related and The Wand will still make a difference.
Many people have a specific phobia of needles. The Wand still incorporates a needle, so it is not necessarily the perfect solution for these sufferers. However, many people who suffer from a needle phobia do for The Wand helpful. The reason for this is its innovative, advanced, patient-friendly design.
The Wand looks more like a pen than a syringe. Compared to conventional syringes, the needle at its tip is very small and discrete. For patients who experience anxiety simply at the sight of the needle and the thought of what is about to happen, The Wand can help to ease their fears and help them to relax.
Does it work as well as conventional syringes?
With the aid of cutting-edge technology, The Wand delivers exactly the anaesthetic you need, at exactly the right rate- so you’ve nothing to fear about how well it works.
In addition, the ergonomic design means that it is a pleasure for dentists to work with. Regardless of what type of injection is required and in which area of the patient’s mouth, the dentist is able to reach comfortably and apply the anaesthetic accurately. This ease of use is another factor in ensuring that dentists offer the optimum patient experience. After all, if a phobic patient sees a dentist struggling to perform a procedure, their stress and anxiety levels will naturally rise. Using The Wand can help to prevent this.
Why don’t all dentists use it?
Like most exciting new pieces of technology, The Wand can take time and training until your can use it properly. Many dentists simply don’t have this time or, if they have been performing treatments using conventional syringes for a long time, they may not want to learn a new technique.
Another factor that stops dentist converting to The Wand is cost. Firstly, there is an upfront cost for the CompuDent hardware and The Wand hand piece. Secondly, the disposable elements of the process are more expensive and more numerous than if you are using traditional syringes.
For these reasons, many dentists prefer to continue using conventional syringes and for the majority of their patients, this poses no problem. For dental phobic patients, however, finding a dentist that uses The Wand can help them to manage their phobia and continue with their dental treatment. Often, you will find that dentists who have adopted The Wand as their preferred injection technique will usually be dentists who specialise in treating anxious, nervous or phobic patients. The point about these practices is that The Wand will only be part of their solution; they may be able to offer other ideas, products and treatment methods that can further help you manage your phobia.
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