If thinking about the dentist gives you sweaty palms and a racing heart, rest easy. It’s a new age of dentistry, when kinder, gentler approaches are available. Often it’s the memories of being a child and having a dentist come at you with a big needle that cause dental patients anxiety. That’s why, with patient comfort in mind, Guelph Village Dental uses an alternative to conventional needles. It’s called The Wand® – a computer-assisted anaesthesia system.
“The Wand has proven to be extremely effective to decrease the discomfort associated with administering anaesthesia,” says Dr. Ketan Mistry. “It decreases anxiety because it has a very different appearance in comparison to the conventional needle. It doesn’t look like a big scary needle.”
For young children and anxious adults, Dr. Mistry opts to keep the lid on The Wand when showing it to the patient. “People don’t recognize it as a needle,” he explains. “It kind of looks like a ball point pen.”
The tip of The Wand does have a small needle, necessary to pierce through the soft tissue of your gums. But the needle is less painful than a conventional needle. “People have reported they didn’t feel it at all,” Dr. Mistry says. “One patient said she would have paid a million dollars to have had it used when she was a kid. Others have gone as far as saying, ‘Did you actually give the freezing?’” Guelph Village Dental has treated patients as young as 2 or 3 years old without incident with the help of The Wand.
While you might want to get the whole process over with quickly, The Wand actually takes a bit longer to administer than the usual dental needle, for good reason. “A lot of discomfort from freezing is caused by expansion of tissue, so the slower you go the less the patient feels that expansion,” Dr. Mistry explains. The Wand has three speeds, used to treat different areas of the mouth. The front of your mouth and the palate are more sensitive and warrant slower treatment.
Seems like a perfect solution. So why don’t more dentists use The Wand? This injection technology comes at a higher price than the conventional needle. “There are higher overheads associated with using this,” Dr. Mistry notes. “A conventional needle is $2. This costs $7 or $8. But we offer it to our patients at no extra charge.”
Anxiety over dental visits can cause people to avoid the dentist, creating more complex dental needs over time. “Our goal is to provide dental treatment in the most comfortable atmosphere possible,” Dr. Mistry says. “We realize that being at the dentist is an invasion of your personal space and uncomfortable for most people, so we want to remove as many barriers for people as possible.”
This philosophy carries on throughout the office, where the latest technology provides patients with a comfortable experience – from massage chairs to Netflix to digital x-rays to photographs that show patients exactly what’s occurring in their mouths.