Nobody likes getting a shot. In fact, dislike or fear of needles is one of the biggest reasons why people don't go to the dentist. But what if there were a way to make dental shots pain-free? Vibraject is a small device that aims to block the pain from injections of local anesthesia through the use of vibrations. Vibraject just might make getting a shot of local anesthesia bearable, easing dental anxiety for even the most needle-phobic. Less dental anxiety could translate into regular dental visits and healthier teeth for you!
Your Dentist’s Bag of Tricks
Most dentists have a few tricks up their sleeve to try to reduce the pain of dental shots. Some try the "wiggle and jiggle" technique, shaking and pinching the cheek in an attempt to distract your brain from the discomfort of the anesthetic shot. This move is often combined with the widely used topical anesthetic -- a numbing gel applied with a swab to the area before giving the shot. The problem is that the gel comes with a couple of undesirable side effects -- namely, a bad taste in your mouth and a numb feeling in the back of your throat. Some people even gag and choke on the gel. Another technique is to try to inject the local anesthesia slowly. Dentists do this because it's actually the pressure of the liquid entering your tissue that causes the sting, not the needle itself.
Although these techniques do work for some people, many others still experience some level of pain when receiving a shot of local anesthesia.
Delivering Good Vibrations
Vibraject relies on vibrations as a means of delivering a pain-free injection. Vibraject is a small battery-operated attachment that snaps right on to your dentist's syringe. It delivers a high frequency vibration to the needle. Don't worry -- the vibration won't cause your dentist's hand to shake as he or she is giving you the shot! The vibrating sensation is strong enough for you to feel, though. And because your brain is focusing on the vibrating, it can't simultaneously focus on the pain. (That's according to a theory of pain that suggests that once your nerve endings sense vibrations, they can't also transmit feelings of pain.) Thanks to vibraject, your dentist may deliver the injection without you even noticing!