Something that puts many people in fear of dental visits is the dreaded needle used to deliver anaesthesia for many routine dental procedures.  Luckily, there is good news for needle-phobics. Here are some painless forms of dental anaesthesia delivery that could soon make needles a thing of the past.

Electronic anaesthesia

The TENS system, or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation to give it its full name is the most popular form of electronic anaesthesia.  Stimulation pads are placed adjacent to the site of the dental procedure, and a handheld TENS unit allows the patient to control the degree of pain relief they receive.

The device works by sending a low-voltage electrical charge to the desired location, interrupting the ability of the nerves to transmit pain signals to the patient's brain.  Unlike the traditional anaesthesia injection there are no side effects.  You won't leave the dental clinic dribbling or slurring for hours afterwards! 

In addition, this technique is non-invasive and no anaesthetic is used so there is no danger of allergic reaction.

Subgingival anaesthesia

Subgingival anaesthetics are now regularly used successfully during root planing and scaling treatments.  Traditionally, these deep cleaning procedures are very painful, and consequently require anaesthesia injections for patient comfort.  However, subgingival anaesthetics now mean that local anaesthesia is possible without the use of needles.

Subgingival anaesthesia is introduced directly into the gum pocket using a special applicator.  The area becomes numb within about 30 seconds, and the numbing sensation lasts for about half an hour.  Top-ups may be given during the procedure if required.

A major advantage over traditional needle-delivered anaesthesia is that the effect is confined to the gum tissues only.  This means that you won't suffer the usual 'fat-lip' or numb tongue that occurs in the aftermath of many such procedures.

Cryogenic anaesthesia

This is a clever system that uses flexible single-use 'rings'.  The rings are placed in a freezer for half an hour before being placed in position in the patient's mouth.  The rings are mouldable and quick-acting working rapidly to numb gums and teeth sufficiently to be effective for most dental procedures including fillings, extractions and root canal work.

If necessary, the device can be reapplied during your procedure to keep you numb.  The numbness wears off after half an hour or so.

In conclusion

A visit to the dentist for a routine filling or deep cleaning procedure need no longer fill needle-shy patients with dread.  Injections could soon become a thing of the past!  Ask your dentist about needle-free alternatives for anaesthesia during your next routine check-up. Contact a company like Semaphore Dental to learn more, as well.