Breakthroughs in pain management now leave drilling and tooth extractions nearly painless. The cause? New local anesthetics and application methods.
Back in 1884, cocaine was common in dental procedures. While effective at numbing the surface of the skin, it did little to the pain deep within the tissue. In 1920, a syringe and cartridge designed to hold a local anesthetic allowed application of anesthetics deeper into the tissue. Since then, needles and syringes have continued to be the primary tool used by us dentists. While effective, we know the very thought of needles causes major stress.
Within the last decade, we have seen leaps and bounds in dental instruments and techniques for pain relief. In the early 90's Targeted Electronic Anesthesia (TEA) emerged. TEA uses electronic signals at low frequencies to block pain signals in your body. The signal travels through your body to a receptor placed in the tissue, effectively blocking your pain.
TEA has many advantages over needles: With no chemical injections, the chances of allergic reactions decrease. Discomfort or pain from initial needle shots disappears. However, TEA has limitations. If you are pregnant, have a pacemaker, or suffer from seizures, avoid TEA.
With TEA, we change the type of local anesthetic from chemical to electrical. Yet improvements in applying local anesthetics provide relief as well. A recent advancement pairs the syringe with a computer, creating "smart needles.” A monitor attaches to the tube carrying the anesthesia, enabling precise amounts of anesthetic. The flow of anesthesia corrects instantly, creating a practically pain free injection for you.
These innovations are the tip of the iceberg right now in dentistry. Dentistry is a state-of-the-art medical practice. Our office continually updates our methods and instruments to serve you.
Stop by for a consult on new methods and techniques to serve you.