There is something ominous about a needle. Be it the long point or the unnerving thought of your skin being penetrated no one likes to get injections. Another common fear is going to the dentist. When these two subjects are combined into the single category of dental syringes discomfort is a guarantee. Though getting a dental injection is never fun, for some people their aversion crosses the line of displeasure and enters the realm of phobia. In fact, according to the Adult Dental Health Survey, 8% of patients report phobic emotions relating to dental syringes. This compares to only 5% who report a fear of needles in general.
The unfortunate situation this group of individuals find themselves in is somewhat of a catch 22. Although they fear the prick of a needle they know how painful a dental procedure without anesthetics can be. The wise choice is to pick the injection. However, pain is not inevitable. In fact, there are a number of tips and techniques both patients and doctors can follow to reduce the discomfort sometimes involved. These are elaborated below.
Numbing Gel-The first line of defense against dental syringes is the use of numbing gels. As the name suggests these are topical ointments that can be applied to a surface of the mouth to temporarily numb the region. This will prevent the pain of penetration as the more potent anesthetic is injected. The one caution is to make sure the gel is given enough time to set in. This is especially true for the upper front and lower back teeth.
The Wand-The wand is an automated device used to control the rate at which the anesthetic is released into the body. Using this device has two advantages. 1) Though it does puncture the skin, it does not look like a syringe. For many people the negative associations they make with the sight of a needle is the overwhelming cause of anxiety. 2) Often times the pain associated with an injection of an anesthetic has less to do with the breaking of skin, and more to do with the speed at which it enters the body. This is because the PH level of the mouth is different from that of the drug. This can cause a burning sensation. By monitoring the standardizing the rate at which the substance flows into the patient, the wand can reduce pain caused by human error.
Reason With Yourself-For many this piece of advice may seem unhelpful next to the benefits offered by gels or the wand, however the mind is an incredibly powerful thing. As explained above, the fear of injections is often times caused by the negative connotation associated with a long, intimidating dental syringe. Even worse, in cases the pain can even be created in a patient’s own head. That is why those prone to phobic thoughts should concentrate on two thoughts throughout the procedure. First, they should remind themselves of the benefits of the operation about to occur and that on the whole the shot is for their own good. Second, they should remind themselves that INJECTIONS ARE NOT ALWAYS PAINFUL. Using the tools and techniques described can in this article, pain be avoided. Using these two thoughts patients can effectively get rid of the negative thoughts they associate with dental syringes. This is half, if not all, the battle.