NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) –Fear and anxiety surrounding needles may be keeping many people away from the dentist.
However, a new method of making needles painless could take the fear out of going to the dentist, CBS 2’s Dr. Max Gomez reported.
“I completely avoid going to the dentist sometimes because of the pain and because of the anxiety,” Yanira Sirol said.
Fear of pain is a big part of dental-phobia and can lead to avoidance and possible health problems.
“Dental neglect leads to cavities, root canal, and then possibly extractions. So, it’s never a good idea to neglect your oral health,” Dr. Peter Mann explained.
The answer to getting people past their fear of the dentist could lie in a simple device which looks like an electric toothbrush with soft plastic prongs on the end.
“It was like a tiny little chainsaw vibrating in my mouth, without the pain,” Elena Orrico said.
The device helps to dull the pain of a needle, CBS 2’s Dr. Gomez explained.
The dentist places the vibrating prongs gently on the gums and then injects alongside them.
“The vibrations actually travel to your brain faster than pain and they overload your neurons so you don’t feel the pain or discomfort associated with needles. You just feel comfortable vibrations that are soothing and the injection is pain-free,” Dr. Mann explained.
The vibrations also help dispense the liquid used during an anesthetic injection which further reduces discomfort for the patient.
Patients said that the Dental-Vibe machine made a huge difference.
“For the first time I say it in so many years, I feel great when I go to see the dentist. I feel happy, my anxiety goes away,” Yanira Sirol said.
The cost of the machine is about $700. Dentists told CBS 2’s Dr. Gomez that it is worth the investment and that it eventually pays for itself.
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